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Stories with Friends: Part 10

Tara is Back!

Tara was a part of our first cohort of kindergartners last year. Then, due to family circumstances, wasn’t able to participate for much of the year. Sarah and all of us at the Central Oregon chapter are so excited to have her back on our roster!

A couple of weeks ago Sarah decided to pair her with Alexis for a group outing. When Tara heard who was coming she said, “Oh she’s so nice, she plays with me at recess all the time!”

The two laughed and played the entire outing. Tara was so excited. At the end of the day, she asked Sarah, “when do I get to see you?”

Sarah said she can tell Tara is hungry for connection and excited to be back. We’re glad to have you back, Tara, and can’t wait to watch as you and Sarah continue to develop an awesome relationship!

New to Central Oregon, But Not to Friends

Alice is new to Friends Central Oregon, but not to Friends of the Children. She recently moved into Central Oregon from Portland where she was a part of their program.

Recently Ashley, our newest Friend, went to visit her at school. Alice was super excited. Telling everyone, “This is my mentor. We’re friends!” She explained to her classmates what it means to her to be a mentor, explaining that it is someone she looks up to.

Alice was sad when Ashley had to leave, but they were getting to go on an awesome outing to Mt. Bachelor soon after.

Ashley’s story is a great example of the power of the Friends of the Children network of chapters. Without it, a move like the one Alice’s family made recently would have left Alice without a mentor. Instead, Ashley was here and ready to be an important part of her life. We’re really thankful for their blossoming friendship!

Fear and Self Determination

A few weeks ago Joe took Jules to the rock gym--a place they often go together. Jules, however, doesn’t like to climb very high. About 7 feet off the ground each time, as Joe describes it.

On this recent visit, Joe asked him, “what’s the feeling you’re experiencing?” Jules said he was scared of heights. Joe reminded Jules that fear is normal and we can only be brave when we’re afraid. In the moment, Joe could see trust being built as he challenged Jules.

Later, Joe purchased a Gatorade for Jules. Jules wanted Joe to open it for him, but Joe pushed him to open it himself--knowing he could show self determination and open the bottle all on his own. “I know you can open it,” Joe said.

It took Jules a few minutes but he opened the bottle without Joe’s help. As Nona, our Program Director said, "Joe gave him space to fail."

An opened Gatorade bottle might seem on the surface like a small thing, but it’s little moments like this that lead to growth. For Jules, we have a feeling the Gatorade bottle may lead to conquering higher heights at the rock gym someday soon. Either way, we’re proud of both he and Joe. Joe for giving Jules space to try to succeed, and Jules for facing his fears.