Nurturing a Child's Dream
With the Fort Lee Police Department!
What did you want to become when you were little?
What if your childhood hero took you to the backstage of their operation, taught you how they bettered the world, and encouraged you to join them when you grew up?
With that experience, where would you be landed?
On April 11th, we visited the Fort Lee police department with one of our Joyful Learning After School Program students, Luis Gamez. Luis is an immigrant from Guatemala and has been with Give Chances for more than two years now; a deeply kind and sympathetic student, he used to be soft-spoken and shy. However, as he got to connect with peers and volunteer teachers here and witnessed an exponential growth in his academics and especially English skills, he now became much more proactive and open to making relationships. Moreover, our teachers' reports speak for his natural gift in Music and Art.
Until recently, his family's financial situation was greatly affected by his dad's brain surgery to the point where they were unable to secure a doctor's appointment, since they could not pay the initial downpayment. But with the support of Give Chances, his dad was able to access post-brain surgery treatments and recovery procedure. As Luis moves on to 6th grade next year, we are excitedly anticipating how his journey will unfold.
When Luis was asked "what is your dream?", he answered that he wanted to become a police officer. Luis seemed to connect with them for their endeavor to rectify the evils of our society and to help and protect people. And, quite apparently, the sirening police car captured his heart. Taking this into account, we decided to create a chance for him to explore an actual police department and the daily works of the officers, with the cooperation of the Fort Lee Police Department. The amazing encounter was filmed as a part of our promotional video (now under editing), which featured one student, Luis, and one volunteer teacher, Sena Jun, in depth.
The time we spent at the Fort Lee Police Department was downright amazing. Details are not to be disclosed for the protection of the department's privacy, but Luis got to see how the officers ensured the safety of our community, operations ranging from emergency calls to case investigation. Going back to the childhood hero anecdote, imagine your hero let you touch all his/her gears and even try some of them!
Luis' time at the police department concluded with a grand finale of Skywatch mobile surveillance tower riding. Bon voyage, Luis!
Luis said that he had a meaningful experience and was inspired to do better at school. Once someone has a reason, the steps toward their dream get easier, and even challenges become joyful. To create exceptional experiences for children and to nurture their dreams inspire us to keep doing what we do.
For those of you who would like to create opportunities for children with us, your interest and support are always welcomed!