Friday, February 18, 2011

Figuring out our DREAM

This past Wednesday, Junior and I went for our first one on one session and since bowling is a good activity he can do with his family, I decided to take him to the local bowling alley. My plan was to get better acquainted with Junior, explain Project DREAM more and assess his bowling skills. When I picked up Junior, he just came home from going out to eat with another mentor and his first words put a smile on my face! Junior comes home and says, "Wow, I'm having a busy day!" so from then on, we got right to it.

As we bowled, Junior said he wanted the bumpers up so I put them up for him. As I mentioned in my first post, Junior is thin and fairly weak for his age. We got him a very light ball and I asked him to bowl one handed for me. When he bowls with one hand he releases with his palm facing down as opposed to facing up so he has to learn how to bowl with his hand starting in the supine position. After a few attempts I let him bowl with two hands. So we are definitely going to work on his form and strength.

Junior didn't make it to our Project DREAM opening night but on Wednesday, I was able to explain how he had to come up with a physical activity dream and after explaining how we need to set a goal, Junior decided his dream is to bowl a "turkey" or 3 strikes in a row. His other dream is to get stronger so we will later quantify what getting stronger means. I was glad to hear that he wants to play with other kids and I know he has a friend in the program so I'm planning to set up some sessions with his friend.

I'm meeting with Junior again this weekend and we are going to the racquetball courts to play some games, work on his fitness and strength, and his bowling technique. Over the course of this semester we are going to work on his bowling technique, bowling etiquette, strength, playing with his peers and also getting Junior to refrain from talking to strangers. I had a blast hanging with Junior and I'm really looking forward to being his mentor this semester! He bowled an 88 that night with the bumpers up and I mentioned that was the year I was born. Juniors response was, "Does that make you an immigrant?" I couldn't help it and I laughed while he explained that is when the immigrants came but I clarified to him how people can immigrate to America years ago, last week, yesterday, today or tomorrow! That's just a small example of the good times we shared of many to come!

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