December 20, 2023

Lauren's Journey: A Tale of Talent, Tenacity, and Triumph

"It's Not The Destination, It's The Journey"

Youth Stories: Celebrating Progress

Dedicated stories about the inspiring journeys of the children in the Friends of the Children Tampa Bay program. Each story is a testament to the incredible progress made possible through the guidance of our dedicated mentors.

None of these achievements would be possible without the gracious support of our donors. Your contributions play a pivotal role in shaping these young lives, providing them with opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive.

We invite you to continue this journey with us. Your ongoing support is crucial in helping us reach more children who can benefit from having a Friend in their lives.

December Youth of the Month: Meet Lauren

In the heart of Tampa Bay, a young girl named Lauren is redefining what it means to be a learner and a leader. As her mentor at Friends of the Children, I've had the privilege of witnessing her remarkable journey, filled with challenges, achievements, and invaluable life lessons. Lauren's story is not just about academic excellence; it's about the power of resilience, creativity, and self-awareness.

A Bright Spark in Our Midst

From the moment I met Lauren, her exceptional abilities were evident. Her vocabulary is astonishing, her reading skills are top-notch, and her academic prowess is undeniable. Despite finding math challenging, Lauren approaches it with a determination that is both inspiring and humbling. Her recent progress in this subject is a testament to her hard work and dedication.

Generosity Beyond Years

Lauren's generosity knows no bounds. Her kind offer to buy hot chocolate and munchkins for her friend and me during our first joint outing is a small but significant example of her big heart. It's these moments of kindness that truly define the spirit of our youth at Friends of the Children.

A Natural Gymnast with Olympic Dreams

Lauren's passion for gymnastics shines bright. Her excitement upon learning about Simone Biles, our supporter and an Olympic gold medalist, was palpable. At just six years old, the same age Simone started the sport, Lauren shows remarkable talent. Watching her perfect her cartwheel, I couldn't help but wonder if we might be nurturing a future Olympian.

Tenacity in the Face of Challenges

Lauren's approach to tackling her math homework is a lesson in tenacity. Faced with double the usual amount, she chose to address it head-on, demonstrating remarkable focus and a strategic mindset. Her ability to turn a challenging subject into an enjoyable activity through art and visualization is nothing short of ingenious.

Lauren's Philosophical Insight

Recently, Lauren shared a profound insight with me: "Life is not just about the destination, it is also about the journey." This wisdom, coming from someone so young, left me in awe. It's a reminder of the depth and thoughtfulness our children possess and the lessons they can teach us.

Reflecting Core Assets

Lauren embodies many of our core assets at Friends of the Children, including a Growth Mindset, Problem Solving, Self Determination, Self Management, and Perseverance. Her journey is a powerful example of what our program aims to nurture in every child we serve.

Final Thoughts

As I continue my journey with Lauren, I am constantly reminded of the impact of our work at Friends of the Children. We are not just guiding these young minds; we are learning from them, growing with them, and being inspired by them. Lauren's story is one of many, each unique and each a beacon of hope and possibility. Together, we are not just walking a path; we are paving a way for a brighter, more empowered future.

- Ms. Jerrese