by CJ on THE VINE
posted Jan 27 2015 4:12PM
Back in 2009 Christine was 18 years old and looking for her first job. She had always been an excellent student, and had worked with her dad, but it was time for her to find her own way now so she did what many young people were doing … she searched for a job on Craigslist to see who might be hiring. She found a listing not far from her home at a fancy restaurant and culinary training school. They hired her. She bought the uniform and started to work.
She discovered, almost immediately, that this type of work was not for her. And as teenagers are apt to do, she began looking for another job … again on Craigslist and found an ad that was looking for help at the Napa Boys & Girls Club. She applied, interviewed, and again, was hired very quickly. Christine found that she enjoyed working with the kids. She also enjoyed working with a young lady a few years older than herself, who exhibited both skill and compassion in her interactions with the children. Christine observed, mirrored and grew during that year.
As summer approached her mom noticed that a new Boys & Girls club facility was under construction in St. Helena, and in fact, was almost complete. She suggested to Christine that she apply for a job there. As a resistant teenager, Christine pushed back, but finally agreed to stop by the new facility. She met a man named Adrian, who gave her an application. Within a week, she had a job at the new site.
Christine immediately connected with the kids in St. Helena. She felt a kinship with them since many of them, like herself, had grown up in St. Helena and were students within the school district. Because of the experience she had gained the prior year with a mentor who had demonstrated that compassion coupled with control were vital, she established that relationship with the kids from the start. Over time, she grew to love them, and they her.
Fast forward four years, and Christine was soon to graduate from UC Davis and was now looking for a new job. She saw an ad from Teach For America looking for candidates. She and her friend decided to apply. They drove to San Jose for their interview. Christine said her friend would be hired, and she would not. In fact, the opposite occurred. After Teach For America brought her on board, they sent her name through the charter school system and Christine got a call from the principal of KIPP Academy in Memphis, Tennessee. Christine went through several grueling interviews – as the principle grilled her on how she would handle a classroom from curriculum to discipline. And then he hired her. He said she impressed him with her answers on how she would interact with the kids in conflict. He felt her experience with the Boys & Girls Club had given her the skills to handle students from an inner city school.
You've probably guessed by now that Christine is my daughter. And she's excelling at her job – teaching Social Studies to 6th graders.
I tell you this story to demonstrate the power of the Boys & Girls Club. I would like to think that Christine's work with the kids in St. Helena provided them a sense of acceptance, a certainty of structure, the importance of integrity and the security of knowing they were loved. I know my daughter would not be where she is today, if not for her connection with the Boys & Girls Club. It's changed her life in a positive and lasting way. I'm certain it has the same positive impact on all of the kids who go through its doors in St. Helena and Calistoga.
That's why I'm excited to host the Boys & Girls Club St. Helena and Calistoga's Youth of the Year awards event on Thursday! Stay tuned - pictures will follow!
by CJ on THE VINE
posted Jan 22 2015 9:24AM
How's Those Resolutions?
I must confess I didn't sit down and write out a long list of what I hope to achieve in 2015. My primary goal is just to stay open to opportunities that come my way and to say yes as often as possible, and no only when it's necessary.
No More Teenagers In The House
My youngest turned 20 about a week ago. Although I've enjoyed the 'empty nest' for more than a year and other than getting used to a very quiet house and acknowledging a big change as far as being responsible for kids on a day-to-day basis, I moved on quite nicely. But now that my baby really is...no longer one, I'm feeling more nostalgia and unexpected emptiness. Is this normal?
Love Those Creative Oreo Flavors!
To cheer myself up ... there's a new Oreo cookie ... just in time for Valentine's Day! Check it out - HERE!