refugee summer school

Just Showing Up

This summer we had the opportunity to run our life coaching program in the public schools for 47 refugee and immigrant students. Our typical program includes monthly extra-curricular activities (Bowling, Ice Skating, Pee Wee Golf etc.) and a weekend camp. During this summer school we only had 2 weeks with the students changing the dynamic quite a bit. We wanted to continue the principle somehow though, so we opted for a grand prize drawing of a movie night with 5 friends.

The student who won our grand prize drawing was Nick. A couple of weeks ago we took Nick and four of his friends to see Star Trek. We had a great time, laughed, ate junk food, and enjoyed the movie. Afterwards we headed home to drop off our new friends. I didn’t know Nick well, he was in my class, but like I said we were running our program for 47 other students and it was only two weeks.

After we dropped Nick’s friends off, it was just our staff and Nick in our twelve passenger van. We started talking to Nick and he started pouring out his life. He told us how his Dad can’t find a job because he can’t speak English and how he is struggling with feeling inadequate because he cannot provide for his family. His mom is struggling with anxiety because his sister was hit by a car back in Iran. Nick was hungry for someone to care, for someone to listen.

It does not take a lot to get to a point in the relationship with these students to speak into their lives. All you have to do is to show-up and listen. We are surrounded by people who want us to simply show up.

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