What has SOAR been up to?
2020 has been a whirlwind year for humanity. Australia faced devastating wildfires. The U.S. impeached its president. And COVID-19 started to ravage the globe. While Colorado’s stay-at-home order lifted on April 27th, COVID-19’s impact is far from over. At the time of this post, the White House projects increasing cases and deaths through May. Depressing stuff.
Through this disruption, though, Seeing Our Adolescents Rise has thrived. Not only have we kept up with the kids we had before the crisis began, but more and more kids have started working with us. In March, we updated our site and made our programs virtual. SOAR is a community-based organization. Normally this means we and our kids go into the community to learn about ourselves and our world. While staying at home, though, this looks like connecting online. Two of our biggest projects right now are our Bigger Than You community service events and our One Love Healthy Relationships Group.
Bigger Than You has a new focus every week: last week’s was oneself. You can’t help the people around you if you can’t help yourself. The event’s word of the day was integrity. What does it mean to have integrity? What can you do to maintain integrity in your own life? Kids answered these questions and more while thinking about the impact they have on their communities.
One Love’s Healthy Relationships focuses on what relationships should and shouldn’t feel like. It informs kids about the difference between temporary jealousy and abusive possessiveness. It discusses the difference between a healthy disagreement and a toxic fight. And it reminds kids that they are their own person and being in a relationship shouldn’t take that away.
And finally, our community resource coordinators are continuing to work with kids one on one. While we can’t go with our clients to activities or meet with them in person, we can still offer services. We host video chats where we talk to kids about their interests, help them with school work, and explore new activities. One of our clients has started working on a STEM exploration kit with their mentor. Another of our clients is determined to bring up their grades by the end of the semester, with the help of their tutor. And some of our kids have confided in their CRCs about their fears surrounding the COVID-19 crisis.
During this fraught time, SOAR is here for our families. SOAR is here for our kids. If our clients need food and supplies, we do what we can to get them. If our clients need space to talk, we offer it. And if our clients need to take part in our groups, we welcome them with open arms. No matter how long this lasts, SOAR will continue to serve our kids in every way we can.