Thursday, November 1, 2007

My new buddy, Jacob

I was back in Denison, Iowa yesterday at the Denison Job Corps. It was my fourth visit to their campus, and once again, I had a great day! I did my assembly for the whole group; then, I did three small group programs.

In the second group was a young man whose name is Jacob. I was having a good time doing some experiential learning exercises and he seemed to be very engaged in what we were doing. That group left and when the last group came in, Jacob was in that group as well.

I had my website hooked up and we were using it to look at the pictures of my accident, photos in the hospital and I showed them pictures of my van and how I drive. I also wanted to show them some of the educational materials I have to build on some points from my program.

The staff person who had helped me the hour before had to leave, so I asked for a volunteer to assist me with navigating my website. Jacob volunteered right away. Like most young people today, Jacob is very adept at using a computer and he was a tremendous help.

To say Jacob strikes me as a character is a huge understatement! He was wearing a nice leather jacket, heavy, work jeans and steel-toed boots. He told me he was studying to be a welder. I'm betting he'll be a very good one.

We started joking with each other about his thick, full beard, and about our slowly expanding foreheads. I told him I can empathize with the whole idea of male pattern baldness!

The reason I wanted to write about him is I feel like I made a great connection with him and it didn't take a whole lot of effort on my part. I don't know how he feels, but I know I won't forget my new buddy, Jacob!

It was just another example of how we, as adults, can make a difference in a young person's life in a very short period of time. It happens to me ALL of the time.

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