Hi there! It’s Diana again.
Earlier today I went to a tutoring session, and brought the 10 year old boy I am babysitting, Skyler, with me. I had told him that we were going to be working with homeless children in a big center that they live at with their families, and he was pretty excited.
As soon as we got there and he saw kids playing on the playground, he asked me if they were homeless. I responded with a nod and he said,
“They don’t look homeless.”
I asked him what he thought homeless kids would look like. He replied,
“I don’t know. Maybe a little dirty with like dirt on them.”
We walked into the coalition and as I set up for tutoring, he went outside on the playground to meet the kids. When I called them in for tutoring about half an hour later, a first grader asked if Skyler could tutor him. I paired Skyler up with one of our college-aged tutors and sent them to work with the first grader, Jonathan.
Throughout the tutoring session, I watched Skyler. He was showing Jonathan how to do certain problems, he would tell him not to say mean things when another student would bother him, and he kept offering to do different activities with him.
After the tutoring event, Skyler and I packed up and headed back home. As soon as we sat in the car, Skyler turned to me and said,
“You are one of the people that really inspire me. When I grow up and have a job, I want to start a charity too.”
Hearing him say that immediately pulled my heartstrings (and made me tear up!)
We talked about his experience on the car ride home. He talked about how he noticed how smart Jonathan really was. He talked about how he realized that these kids don’t have the things he has (he saw one of the student’s broken and spent bike). He told me that he realized these kids are just like him and his friends, and that homelessness didn’t really make a difference.
My conversation with Skyler meant the WORLD to me. My heart is so happy that this is what he got from his experience. Our goal is to make a difference in the students’ lives, but also to eradicate the stigma that homelessness holds. We at least made a difference in one 10 year olds thoughts.
But not only that, Skyler taught me incredible things.
I am going to end this blog post with a challenge. I challenge you to get involved. It doesn’t have to be with us. Get involved with something you’re passionate about, or something you want to learn more about. Get involved in the community, maybe do something just one time, but take it all in. Think about your experiences and let your experiences change you.
If a ten year old can do it, so can you.