WHAT'S NEW AT THE SMHA?

KIDS OF THE FUTURE

(Part 1 of a series by Maria Calcaben)

We often look at our kids and wonder what they will be when they grow up. Are they prepared? Will they be successful? Did I raise them right? I talked to three young men to see their perspective on life. Although they are all different ages and have diverse family backgrounds, they have three things in common: they all live at Allen Woods, they all play a sport, and they are all involved with PODER.

Meet Chris. He is in 5th grade and is part of the free karate program at PODER. He loves to learn different techniques but his favorite part about karate is sparring with his friends. He also has two younger sisters; one of them also attends PODER. He feels it’s important to be a big brother because he could take care of them if they needed help or if they were in trouble. Whether it’s helping to keep the center clean or helping his sister with her homework, Chris always comes to PODER with a positive attitude. He believes that kids should “be themselves and always try their best!” Keandre is a familiar face. He was featured in the Oracle last August.

 

Like Chris, Keandre is part of the free karate program at PODER but he also does boxing classes with trainer Brenda “Tiger Lady” Bell, a former world-rated professional boxer and martial artist. In his free time he likes to play football, basketball, volleyball, and swimming. He feels it is important to stay healthy and active because it makes you feel happier and helps you live longer. He enjoys coming to PODER because he can hang out with his friends, do homework, and do fun activities in a safe and encouraging environment. Keandre also has a younger brother that attends PODER and he thinks it is important to set a good example for him so his brother can make the right choices in life. He feels everyone should be treated equally, girls and boys, because we’re all people. His thoughts are inspired by very strong girls in his life, like his mom!

Dade is a junior in San Marcos High School. He plays football for the JV team and believes that playing sports has made him be a better student because of grade demands, a better athlete with “tough love” approaches from his coaches, and a better kid at home because of the disciplines he learns being on the team. He enjoyed helping out at PODER during the summer and hopes to continue helping during his free time. He enjoyed engaging in all the activities and games, interacting with the kids and volunteers, and of course having fun in the field trips! He believes that to be a good role model, a person must follow the rules, act right, and show respect around all people, young or old. Being a role model gives younger kids someone to look up to and something to hope to be when they get older. After graduating high school, Dade plans to go to Texas A&M and study either engineering or law enforcement and continue to play football. His advice to other boys is to, “stay in school and keep your grades up. It’s important to understand that your grades affect your home and school life.”

Each of these boys are looking to make a successful future for themselves and not letting anyone or any barriers stop them. By being involved in sports and being active in their community they are less likely to get into drugs and more likely to focus on becoming good leaders for their peers. Their hope and confidence stems from great support systems. Their families, their schools, and their community constantly encourage them to go for the gold! 

 

 

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