January’s Moment of Clarity, Our #BlueOut
By Deborah Farmer Kris
Our experience with working with boys through East Haven Youth Leadership has shown us that relationships are as important as any specific program, goal, and/or material, and that boys thrive with strong connections in the community. When boys are involved in meaningful and empowering relationships they are empowered and linked to their communities, have purpose, meaning, and emotional connection to their daily activities, and will be more open to learning.
That is why we use our partnerships to form lasting relationships with boys to help them achieve their full potential. One of our core values is to celebrate, connect, lead, and connect, and so often this is as simple as learning the rules and responsibilities of a peer program, or being given a high fives for any positive action, or just having the opportunity to talk and ask questions about our mission or ideas for projects.
At times we may not always have all the details, but what we do have is flexibility and a will to try new things. If we are able to use the strengths of boys in a way that brings meaning and purpose to their lives we believe they are open to learn and grow.
As part of a partnership that is coming up on its second year, we will hold our “Blue Out” on Saturday, February 23 at 2 pm at our Youth Leadership Center on the campus of Real World Solutions (formerly Hubbard Hall School in New Haven). Over the years, we have been designing innovative events and programs that allow for sharing and contribution. Our goal this year is to do just that with the pledge “Blue Out to Stand Together” during our event. There will be a PledgeFest all day, where boys will pledge to stand together. During the event we will honor the boys and support them by having Niles Resnik, from the Yale Center for Medicine in the Classroom share information about the healing process from adversity, and WWE super model, Sage Steele with students sharing her own personal story and providing boys with an opportunity to have their photo taken with her.
The Super Bowl and all of the opportunities that come along with the championship championships of teams is a big deal, and we wanted to find ways to celebrate boys as they build confidence and are accepted for who they are.
As a lifelong supporter of male role models and mentors, and as a professional in the social services field, I was more than happy to help “Kick off” our project during the Super Bowl. Supporting “blue out” is an essential part of how we make a difference in a boys life and as part of our community’s goals, we all must contribute.
Deborah Farmer Kris, MSW, is a therapist and behavioral analyst who has worked extensively with boys with, among other characteristics, sociopathic tendencies, Asperger’s syndrome, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, and high functioning autism. She works with residential facilities, schools, and service organizations to help enhance the lives of boys affected by or affected by these problems. To learn more about East Haven Youth Leadership please contact her at [email protected]