YPT recently visited the Military Child Education Coalition’s National Training Seminar. MCEC advocates for inclusive, quality education for military-connected children, who are frequently affected by mobility, family separation, and transition. Military children generally move six to nine times during their K-12 school years. Many make multiple moves during high school years alone, some even during their senior year. One MCEC program, Student 2 Student, trains civilian and military-connected high school students to establish peer-based support systems to support military youth who move to and from the school. These students help military-connected youth develop positive peer relationships, learn about their new schools and community and quickly gain peer credibility.
We worked with members of the Student 2 Student program for an afternoon, playing theater games, developing characters and writing. In one exercise, each student created a character based on another student’s shoe, imagining their hopes, fears and favorite food all from one shoe! We were so impressed with the creative monologues they wrote for their characters and how quickly they were able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes! At the end of the day, students and professional actors presented a scene and two monologues to a large audience, including Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
Jhon: So I have been down in Florida for the last couple weeks. I have been through many ups and downs, but in the end it was all worth it. I got into a city league. Played very well for the first few games but on one I lost. I took it all on myself. But I told myself that I can’t let failure take over me. We are going to playoffs next week. Wish me luck.
Liza: I was on my way to the new H&M to buy the leather jacket but guess what happened… the H&M was in that new glass mall, and H&M is on the top floor. I am so afraid of heights… I could never go in a glass mall. You should go buy it for me… I’ll give you the money for it!!!
Paul: I so badly want to leave the boringness and normality that is my life. I want to quit my job at the bank and travel to Europe and pursue my love of jazz. But I am afraid of taking risks. Maybe I should get some new shoes and be brave, yes, I will. I will follow my dreams.
Elizabeth: To get something you want more than anything which is joy and happiness you have to follow your dreams. Do whatever you have to do for you to wake up with a smile in the morning. Don’t let fear of failing get in thte way because whatever you devote your time to and put effort in you will be successful.
Diana: I just got back from my “vacation” and I am tired but am going to go into the forest near my house to go exploring. I wish I didn’t have to go on so many “vacations” but hey I love it, but it gets in the way of me getting close to my family. But I know that some of the things I do in my “vacations” can put them all in danger. By the way, there is this one Chinese place I went to, I know it’s not healthy for me, but you know I love it! Back on track though. I know that if I do stop my “vacations” they are going to be in the past, but the past always holds danger. I got to go.
Mark: I have been in the banking business for years and I think it is time to move up the leadership ladder. I can no longer show weakness on my climb since CEO’s are fearless. If you could aid me in my ascent it would be greatly appreciated so I will have someone to help me overcome my biggest fear of failing. For now I bid adieu to you my friend and hope for a promising reply.
Jessica: More than anything, I want to go to Africa and look at all of the animals there, but there is one problem. I am extremely scared of heights and I am terrified to fly up in a plan that goes so high. I am going to attempt to overcome my fear of heights by picking up a new hobby of free climbing. If I can climb without a harness, I think I can ride in an airplane. I really hope free climbing will help me overcome my fear of heights so I can fulfill my dream of going to Africa and discovering new animals.
Mary Ann: I… I can’t describe the mix of emotions I feel. I am so conflicted. I love my family so dear, but my whole self aches for adventure. This small and rural town cannot be all that I amount to. I must at least TRY to see the world. But I am scared. I am scared to leave the nest, for I am still young. My mother used to say the world was dangerous, but maybe I want the danger. I will miss you dearly, but I’ve decided to collect my belongings and leave for wonderland. I’m leaving tomorrow and I hope we meet again.
Phillip: I was just at the café and I thought I should write to you. I have been volunteering at the local orphanage but I am deathly afraid that one of the kids will pop a bottle cap into my eye! I have a great passion to help these kids and I want to see them happy, but I can’t risk being near another bottle cap. Should I just wear an eye patch?
YPT would like to thank Military Child Education Coalition and the Military Benefit Association for inviting us to take part in this meaningful day.