Our Visitor From Volunteer Florida

Firewall Staff and AmeriCorps members were inspired at our September 16th Training. We had to split our training into two groups due to our recent growth, as we added new Center locations and Mentors to the team. The day began with a Citizenship Training where Mentors learned about the importance of committing to personal responsibility for the welfare of ourselves, our families, and our communities. “Every right has its responsibilities. Like the right itself, these responsibilities stem from no man-made law, but from the very nature of man and society.” (Senator Lewis Schwellenbach). Our staff and members split up into small groups as they participated in an activity where they had to shorten the bill of rights from ten rights to five. The activity brought members together as they learned to use both their similarities and differences to accomplish the greater goal.

Mentors then listened to one of our own Success Coaches discuss Behavior Tools that can help them daily as they serve their students. Utilizing his two degrees in Social Work and Psychology, Success Coach Ryan from our Bair Middle School site taught members how to increase appropriate behavior through clear expectations and repetition. Mentors also learned how to decrease inappropriate behavior through redirection and corrective feedback.

The highlight of the afternoon was undoubtedly the visit from Corey Simon, CEO of Volunteer Florida. He shared about his life and how “[He] never thought [he’d] be standing here doing what [he does]. But [he] just started by serving.” Through anecdotes of his program experience and the ways he served his community, he inspired our mentors to keep being a guide for our students. He reminded members that “Sometimes [the kids] just want to know that there’s someone there to listen, someone they can trust.”

We want to give a big thank you to Volunteer Florida and AmeriCorps for inspiring us to inspire our students and for their continual support.