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Friends First Match Newsletter - Spring 2011


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Friends First Match Newsletter - Spring 2011

  1. 1. F R I E N D S F I R S T Spring 2011 potatoes and vegetables,‖ says Kim. ―Contrary to the bad rapSPOTLIGHT ON… English food gets, Josh enjoyed it, and that is high praise coming from someone who is so spoiled from food at home. The secret is to Kim & Joshua par-boil the spuds and fork them before roasting them in the chicken fat with garlic‖ Throughout their time together Joshua and Kim have introduced one another to interests and experiences from each of their cultural backgrounds. ―Ive taught him some English slang, like ‗spuds‘ for potatoes,‖ says Kim, ―and made him a CD with some songs by, The Streets, to teach him the concept behind cockney rhyming slang (its complicated). [And] Ive tried to interest him in soccer.‖ Joshua says he has learned about other cultures through outings like going to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen. Whatever they do together, Joshua says he, ―just likes spending time with Kim‖.Reflecting on his match with Kim, which began January 2009 Joshua has introduced Kim to some new experiences as well.Joshua says, "I found a friend, a real close friend. I can talk to himabout anything." ―He took me to the roller rink near his home, which is definitely a black Chicago culture thing,‖ says Kim. ―Josh has his own bootsKim says of mentoring, "Its been good to have something regular with his nickname ‗Bootsy‘ on them and he and his brother are bothand meaningful outside of work. But mostly its just an excuse to strong skaters. Me? Not so much, although I managed, just about,run around and have fun like a teenager. Josh is the class clown to stay on my feet.‖and he makes me laugh a lot." ―We tend to alternate movie choices and the music we listen to inKims favorite outings with Josh are the Friends First Camping the car,‖ says Kim. ―Josh plays me the latest hip-hop and blacktrip, going to a car museum in Volo, IL, go-karting and going to cinema and I try to introduce him to some older stuff.‖see professional ball games. Joshua says that Kim has taught him how to trust somebody. And,Josh‘s mother, Jessica, says, ―The time is never up with them. Joshua hopes he has taught Kim that, ―young people are not all theThey tend to always find something to do by alternating who same. I have taught him that I am a good kid.‖chooses what they‘ll do for the week. They‘ve made lots ofmemorable moments together.‖ Kim says, ―Id be amazed if Josh didnt think I was a bit square –hes a teenager—but I hope Ive shown him that working hard and tryingKim recalls one such moment. ―Im sure it terrified the Friends to make smart choices doesnt mean you have to lead a dull life; thatFirst and campsite staff, but the time Josh and I capsized our in fact the reverse is true.‖ ―Josh has taught me to relax and not takerowing boat in the freezing cold lake on the camping trip was things so seriously, and never to play a teenager at video games ifabsolutely hilarious and a real bonding moment, even if it was youre a bad loser.‖humiliating to trudge out of the lake in wet clothes while all theother mentors gave me disapproving looks.‖ In considering how he‘s seen Joshua grow throughout their match, Kim says, ―Josh was charming and socially confident already, but I―When we started out I could give Josh a decent game of hope Ive shown him some experiences that he might not otherwisebasketball, but now he beats me easily." Basketball is Josh‘s have had, and that if he steps outside his comfort zone people willfavorite activity because, he says, "We both can do it. We laugh a naturally warm to him.‖lot—at each other mostly. We are both bad sometimes and messup and laugh at each other." ―Id encourage mentors who are planning on making a new match when their current match comes to end to consider being paired"Getting to know [Josh] has given me an opportunity to explore with an older teenager like Josh, who might share more of yourthe city and feel at home here, even though I grew up in London,‖ adult interests,‖ says Kim. Josh‘s advice for mentees is, ―Don‘t besays Kim. ―His mom Jessica, brother Lionel and dad Zinny have shy; just try new things. You‘ll probably have fun.‖all made me feel like part of the family—particularly Jessica, whois a wonderful cook and whose chicken lasagna is to die for.‖Kim shared his own cooking talents with Josh as well. ―We cooked Friends First is a program of Mercy Home for Boys & Girlsa traditional English Sunday roast dinner of roast chicken, roast
  2. 2. Mary Ann’s Moment Chicago is a city rich in cultural diversity deriving from people who come from every corner of the world. So, chances are that you are matched in Friends First with some one who comes from a different background or Happy Anniversary! that some of your friends are from diverse cultures. Embracing and exploring our differences can be a lot of Linda F. & Isadora C…….4/05fun and educational, too, as we realize that we are all a piece of life‘s Gail S. & Amirra D………4/06beautiful mosaic. Kathy O. & Emilia B……..4/11 Scott Y. & Joshua M……..5/01Share stories about family elders and eat a meal or snack that is specific to Julie J. & Monique W……5/15your family‘s ethnicity. Visit museums and shops that are geared toward CJ J. & David M………….6/07different cultures. Ask if you can take part in a friend‘s family tradition that Lori C. Sarah B…………...6/14is not part of your own. Make a point to go to neighborhood festivals and Elizabeth O. & Zitlaly G…6/14events so that you can hear music, sample foods and see crafts & artwork Matt S. & Jordan M……...6/22that define different ethnic groups. You can even volunteer to help out atone of these events to expand your knowledge and make new friends. John C. & Carlos C………6/24 Allison R. & Desiree C…...6/28As you learn about differences you will also find similarities. The more youlearn about all people, the better your skills will become at navigating life We apologize if we have missed your birthday. Please let us know so we canall over the globe. ~Mary Ann Pilet add it to our calendar. Welcome New Matches! We are pleased to welcome these new matches and wish them all the best as they start an exciting year together: Susan K. & Anika R………..…1/08 Leticia H. & Jada K………..….1/09 Neil K. & Braxton W………….1/27 Kayla M. & Alicia Z…………..1/27 Meghan J. & Alisha W……….2/04Building Assets by ExampleDonald is one of the Friends First program‘s most interesting mentors. For over twenty five years, he worked in the fieldof industrial construction and found time with his wife to raise four children. The work was both time consuming andphysical. Unfortunately, Donald was injured on the job and had to redirect his life. He decided to go to college andbecome a teacher. He was already involved in coaching sports on a voluntary basis and thought that becoming a teacherwould be an extension of the effort he was making with children in sports.He began his college career in his middle forties at one of the local junior colleges. It is not easy to begin a new directionin life at this age much less begin the long process of earning a bachelor‘s degree in history. After completing two yearsof an associates degree, he began his final two years at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He got to know a teacher thathad a great influence on the direction of his collegiate work. He took an English 101 class and soon learned that theteacher was disabled. He had lost his sight. The teacher made a great impression on Donald as another person that wasable to overcome adversity in life.Donald was given a great asset in his life and now he has the ability to share this with his mentee through the FriendsFirst Program. He feels that one should never allow adversity to define one‘s life; rather, one should try to turn adversityinto something positive. He likes to share this attitude with his mentee. ~ Br. Paul McDonough
  3. 3. A Picture of Diversity “Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day.” Diversity encompasses respecting, valuing and harnessing the richness of ideas, backgrounds and perspectives that are unique to each individual. “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.” Maya Angelou Diversity PuzzleSupplies Copy of puzzle, scissors, markersActionCut the pieces apart. From the list below,choose 4 ideas to explore:1. Food from a different culture2. Music from a different genre3. Holiday from a different culture4. Different ways to say Hello5. Sport you are not familiar with6. Folk Dances7. American Sign language8. The word or symbol for Peace in other languages or culturesCreate a symbol or design to representeach idea and assign each one to adifferent puzzle piece. Draw or illustratethe designs on the designated puzzlepieces. Then admire the skill and talentyou showed in creating each individualpiece :-). Now put the puzzle together toform one amazing picture of the beautyof diversity.Friends First Fun Facts!Thoughts on Diversity... Humanity – there is no they, only us. ~ The Virtues Project We have the ability to achieve, if we master the necessary goodwill, a common global society blessed with a shared culture of peace that is nourished by the ethnic, national and local diversities that enrich our lives. ~ Mahnaz Afkhami I think we have to own the fears that we have of each other, and then, in some practical way, some daily way, figure out how to see people differently than the way we were brought up to. ~ Alice WalkerDiversity in Action... President Eisenhower passed the first civil rights bill through Congress since reconstruction in 1957. WGPR-TV Detroit, first Black-owned station in US, begins broadcasting in 1975. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado was the first person of Native American ancestry to serve in the U.S. senate. Janet Guthrie was the first woman to race in the Indianapolis 500.Diversity Fun Facts... The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher. IN Albania, nodding your head means ―no‖ and shaking your head means ―yes.‖ In Tibet, it is considered polite to stick out your tongue at your guests. In China, the dark shadows forming a face on the moon are seen as ―the toad in the moon,‖ not ―the man in the moon.‖No Matter What Culture We Come From, We Have Some Things in Common... We are all born with 300 bones, but when we become an adult, we only have 206. We all need water & air to live. Every person has a unique tongue print, just like fingerprints. The human brain can hold 500 times the information in a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. (We choose what we put into it.) ~ Diane Venzera
  4. 4. Kreative Kids Happy Birthday!! Mariyah C. and Colleen H. April Mariyah and Colleen Anika R………………4/09 showed off their Joshua D……………...4/15 homemade board Tia M…………………4/23 game, Hayloc, during the board game May making contest on Emilia B…………..….5/09 January 15th. They Cherron P……………5/14 constructed the game Jasean P……………...5/14 from recycled Curtis B……………....5/17 materials and art Joshua M……………..5/19 supplies. Hayloc, a name derived from acombination of parts of both Mariyah‘s and Colleen‘s names, is a trivia Junegame with four different categories. Mariyah and Colleen Noneput in a lot of pre-contest-day preparation by looking uptrivia questions and answers online. Hayloc had its We apologize if we have missed yourinaugural game the day of the contest when its creators birthday. Please let us know so weguided another match and volunteers through a few can add it to our calendar.practice rounds. Everyone agreed that the game was asuccess—it was creative, fun and challenging! ~ Amanda Sneed Mask Making What You Do A mask is a remarkable object that 1. Draw an oval shape on the large piece of paper. The was used by several ancient larger the better ... masks can cover more then just the civilizations normally worn on the face. Cut the oval shape out of the paper. face. They were typically used for 2. At both the top and bottom of the oval, make a 1" cut. protection, disguise, performance (You will later take these cuts, fold the paper across or entertainment. itself and staple so the mask has some dimension).Masks have been used for many, many years both for 3. Draw and cut out where the eye holes and mouth andceremonial and practical purposes. But did you know that nose holes (if any) are going to be.they are now a form of art? Talk to your mentor about the 4. Decorate the mask by using bright crayon colors orvarious cultures that have used masks in the past, pick your bright paint colors.favorite, and create your own! 5. Even more details can be added with magic markers and crayons.What You Need 6. Now, where you made you made your cuts, fold the Heavy poster paper about 22" x 28" (can be smaller) paper and staple in place. This will give your mask Pencils more dimension. Crayons, makers and/or Paint 7. Glue found object decorations on the mask. Anything Paintbrushes & containers for water from feathers and string to beads and tissue paper. Scissors 8. Staple string onto the mask so it can be tied around the head. Stapler Feathers, beads, sequins, and other found objects Enjoy and share what you‘ve learn! Glue ~ Yaresi Lopez String or elastic
  5. 5. Friends First Focus In celebration of National Mentoring Month, Friends First hosted a networking breakfast. The purpose was to celebrate mentorship, network with mentor andCultural Competence child referral sources, and to find out how to getThe Search Institute ( involved as a mentor or mentee.acknowledges the importance of young people having Mercy Home for Boys and Girls‘ Jr. Board recentlyknowledge of and comfort with people of different hosted their annual recruitment event for Friends First.cultural, racial, ethnic backgrounds. Your match itself Jr. Board members and current mentors were invitedmight be representative of this asset—just by your own to bring a friend or colleague who might be interestedbackground and history. Consider sharing with each in mentoring.other your culture, traditions and that of your ancestors.Visit a cultural museum to find out more—you‘ll likely Mercy Home was honored at the Bulls game by Statelearn something new about yourself. Farm for our efforts in the community. Mercy selected two matches to represent the agency to receive the award. In addition to being on the courtFriends First Fun! for the award, the matches (Jacob B., Tom E., IsadoraThe Friends First 3rd Annual Basketball Tournament C. and Linda F.) were courtside for the game, withhosted 10 matches playing ball while one match some pre-game privileges to see warm up and to takeparticipated in a ―Create Your Own Board Game‖ pictures.activity. This event allows for excellent competitionand good sportsmanship. There were some great Friends First Tidbitsgames, with three that went into overtime. Match Adapted from sparks_conversation.htmlJordan D. (mentee) and Peter R. (mentor), along withPeter‘s brother Michael ,became this year‘s 2011 3 x 3 Questions, Probes, Ideas and Follow-throughChampions! What does your name mean?—Look it up on the Internet.Friends First hosted their 3rd Annual Career Day on What would it be like to learn the folk dances ofSaturday, February 26th. The day included guest Mexico or the folk songs of Bali?—Find a culturalspeakers who talked about their professional careers. center that may teach them.This year‘s speakers included a pharmacist, a retail What is a family tradition ofrecruiter / buyer, an epidemiologist, a social worker / yours? Can you celebrate thatpastor and a real estate consultant. Each speaker shared tradition in your match?the path they took that got them to where they are now. ~ Mary QuinnAdditionally, Friends First mentor, Beth, who is a LifeCoach, led the group through an exercise that We love your stories so pleaseencouraged them to examine their passions. Mercy keep sharing them with us!Home‘s College Coordinator, Anne Johnson, spokeabout college, from what our young people should bedoing now to creative ways to visit campuses in order ME & MY M & Msto begin the process of thinking about and getting intocollege. Finally, youth were paired with an adult to I have always liked M & M‘s, the mosthave practice in a mock interview with feedback. diverse multicultural integrated candy in the world. You have your red ones, your yellowFriends First News ones, your orange ones, your brown ones,The Friends First team seeks to serve as many youth and your green ones, (and the newest bluewith mentoring matches as possible. In this effort, the ones). All are in one package, all co-existing has been going out into the community and One color doesn‘t think that it is superior to the other,making presentations about the program to sources that one color doesn‘t discriminate against the other. Allmight allow us to recruit potential youth and adults colors are the same size, shape, and weight. All colorswho might become mentees or mentors in our program. look different on the outside, but have the sameIf you belong to a church, community center, ingredients on the inside. Wouldn‘t it be nice if like Malumni group or other organization that you think & M‘s, our prejudices melted into the abyss likemight be interested in hearing a presentation about chocolate melts in our mouth? And all people wereFriends First in order to get involved, please let us judged by what was inside, rather than the color you seeknow! on the outside??? If candy can be prejudice free WHY CAN‘T WE??? ~ Dr. Marilyn Kern-Foxworth
  6. 6. F R I E N D S F I R S T Non-Profit Org. U.S POSTAGE 1140 W. Jackson Boulevard PAID Chicago, IL Chicago, IL 60607-2906 Permit No. 1513 Address Service Requested Things that Make You Go “Hmmm?” Cultural Diversity Chicago is one of the best cities in the world to really explore diverse, enriching neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Pilsen, Humboldt Park, Ukrainian Village, and many more. Our city is composed like a box of crayons. We have a variety of upbringings to learn from. For instance, did you know that in South Africa, if a male wants to propose to a female he would have to offer 11 cows to the woman‘s father? Over, a decade ago, when Bill Clinton was our president, a guy from South Africa wrote to Bill Clinton, offering him 11 cows to marry his daughter, Chelsea Clinton. In our society we have some families that demand that their adult sons or daughters live at home until they get married. In other cultures, when a teen turns 18 years old, he/she is expected to move out to begin they‘re road to independence. Countries in Mexico, Central and South American would name corn tortilla tacos, Baleadas, Empanadas, and many other names. There are certain tribes in Ecuador that when the boys turn 4 years old, they are expected to sleep in the woods for the first time, along with one adult to prove how important their age and gender are to their societies. What has been your experience learning from your mentor/mentee? Have you noticed upbringing differences in terms of music, food, customs, etc? Having differences does not mean that one culture is superior to another. It just means that together we can accomplish much more. We are all crayons living in Chicago in different neighborhoods, but in the same crayon box. Go discover what it means to hear that a ―million mile Journey, begins with the first step‖. ~ Alberto Paguada F R I E N D S F I R S T A newsletter dedicated to building and supporting the Friends First community of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. For more information, please call (312) 738-7552 or visit