Friday, August 8, 2008

Da Bears!

Hey everyone! So yesterday I didn't get back to my apt after work until about midnight. I had to work overtime... AT THE BEARS GAME! As luck would have it, some friends of Cabrini Connections donated 4 tickets to the first Bears preseason game against the Chiefs and I was given the laborious task of accompanying Savon, his father and Savon's friend Charles to Soldier Field for the evening. I was particularly excited since I had already gotten to know Savon quite well, as he was in the group I chaperoned on the Six Flags trip. Savon is one of our most intelligent and promising youth, in fact, he and his tutor have been meeting all summer and learning algebra at Savon's request, just so he can be ahead of the curve when math classes start this fall. He is also fighting for the starting running back spot on his Jr High football team, something he's working very hard towards. His dad is an ex-college football player and obviously an extremely dedicated father, something that so many of the kids we serve could benefit from. He spent the majority of the game pointing out important, but oft-overlooked things for Savon to take note of, particularly those having to do with the Bears 2 backs, Matt Forte and Garrett Wolfe, who played particularly well in his preseason debut. At times from the look on Savon's face it looked more like he was studying for a math test than enjoying the game, but his jubilant reactions to Rod Wilson's pick and Wolfe and Forte's skillful rushing made it clear that Savon is interested in more than flashy moves and touchdowns, but rather he seeks a deeper understanding of the game.

One of the main purposes of taking Savon and his father was to get Charles back in the program. He was enrolled here for a couple months a few years back, but his mother made him stop coming because she didn't want him walking back to Cabrini Green by himself in the evening, a reasonable demand. However, after discussing the situation with Savon's father, he has offered to pick Charles up and take him home each evening, allowing him to get involved in the program once again, which he is very excited about. He's also pumped to join the African Drum and Dance Club, as he's a drummer.

Talking to Charles about his previous experience with Cabrini Connections, it was clear that he really enjoyed it and was benefitting, particularly since he has a very clear career goal of being involved in music production that we could help him work towards. However, he was unable to take advantage of the opportunity due to the violence of his neighborhood, another unfortunate consequence of urban poverty that we are trying to combat here at Cabrini Connections.
hasta la victoria siempre!

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