Boy With a Ball

Boy with a Ball is a youth, family and community development organization working to develop teams which dynamically impact young people in cities across the world through: Reaching young people and their families within their own neighborhoods, drawing them into in-depth one-to-one mentoring relationships and small groups, equipping them to grow into leaders, building communities of and around them and releasing them to improve the world.
Dec 16, 2016

One step at a time! Technical Programs in 2016

Miguel, tutoring a young person in his community.
Miguel, tutoring a young person in his community.

Boy with a Ball's college scholarship program does not lack the ambition to enter the professional work force in Costa Rica. Within the low income, slum communities where the foundation works, there are many strong, smart and capable youth looking for the opportunities to break the barriers into a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. For some of these young people, a difficult step is taking the big jump from high school into a university setting. This year, we partnered with Magister, a one year technical school focusing in Business and Technology. This provided a great transition for 4 people in the program, who this month are completing their one year degree before continuing on to other university studies while having a degree which gives great experience to find a job to support their continuing studies. One of these people is Miguel Martinez, and here is what he had to say about his time at Magister:

"For me, Magister was a new experience, as I was studying at UNED previously (an online university) and I had to change my study methods. I had classes once a week and the teachers who taught the different modules were very good, the teaching methods very complete and efficient. I finished each module successfully with the excellent grades which I did not obtain during the last semester in the UNED. This motivated me to continue and not to be held back. I am satisfied with what I achieved in my time at Magister, and I was very grateful for the opportunity they gave me. Something that I now hope to achieve is to study Systems Engineering at a technician level. During this year in Magister one of the lessons I learned was to work with fellow classmates as we did many team projects and presentations, working with people of different ages and sharing experience both academically and personally."

Congratulations to Miguel and the other Magister graduates of 2016!

Dec 7, 2016

From Setting a Foundation to Unleashing a Movement

Boy With a Ball Atlanta Velocity Super Saturday
Boy With a Ball Atlanta Velocity Super Saturday

2016 has been a foundational year for Boy With a Ball's work in Atlanta.  In February, weekly community walkthroughs were launched on the city's westside, in the shadow of the under construction new Georgia Dome.  These walkthroughs were done by Boy With a Ball team members and a flow of 10-20 volunteers each week from universities like Spelman, Morehouse, Georgia Tech, North Georgia, Clark Atlanta, Emory and Georgia State.  

Boy With a Ball walkthroughs helped our team build relationships with each resident living in the neighborhoods surrounding our partner organization, City of Refuge.  Now that we have built a solid foundation of friendships with these community members, we will begin connecting volunteers and other healthy neighborhood residents with them in mentoring relationships to help them take the next steps toward identifying and reaching their dreams.  Additionally, supportive small groups will be multiplied across the neighborhood around key areas of opportunity and common circumstance like womens groups, GED groups, job skills training groups, single mothers groups, tutoring centers and anything else necessary.  

This work, which BWAB does in every community we work in across the globe, will launch a grassroots movement of individuals flowing in and across the community to walk with one another and help young people and their families living there grow to the point of thriving.  From that point, we will expand into neighboring communities, scaling the work across the city of Atlanta.

Currently we are looking to form our local Boy With a Ball Atlanta board of directors, a fundraising team and a corporate advisory board.  If you are interested in helping or know someone we should contact please contact us immediately.  We welcome your part in this amazing beginning of a movement that will transform our city!

Boy With a Ball Atlanta Velocity Super Saturday
Boy With a Ball Atlanta Velocity Super Saturday
Boy With a Ball Atlanta Velocity Super Saturday
Boy With a Ball Atlanta Velocity Super Saturday
Boy With a Ball Atlanta Velocity Super Saturday
Boy With a Ball Atlanta Velocity Super Saturday

Links:

Oct 20, 2016

Transitioning to the Workplace

When we approached the UPEACE Centre for Executive Education asking for help on a special training, they were not surprised. We have a close partnership and the Centre supports BWAB programs whenever possible, bringing international learning groups to the communities to hear first-hand about the difference BWAB is making in young peoples’ lives.

With the Soft Skills for Employability concept, there was no hesitation in our contacting the Centre. We explained the needs: students in our scholarship and other programs are becoming leaders in their own communities, getting the technical skills they needed through language learning and university classes, but they still lack the fundamental communication skills and confidence needed to excel upon leaving their communities in search of job opportunities. A leader in a program can get perfect grades, but when they have to face a potential employer for the first time in a job interview, are they truly prepared to talk confidently about their strengths, and tell the stories that show how much they shine? And when they get that first job, are they ready to accept criticism from a boss and use it to move forward, or to stand up and express themselves when job instructions aren’t clear? There was an important link that would segue the transition from success story in a squatter community, to success story in the marketplace.

With the help of a great partner, a former Director of another social impact NGO in Costa Rica who had worked extensively with high school drop outs aiming for a better life, the Centre developed an innovative and exciting program, weaving together introspective exercises designed for self-exploration, practical pieces aimed at improving communication, and boundary pushing dynamics that forced the participants outside of their comfort zones.

Over the course of two Saturdays in September, about 25 participants laughed, discussed important themes and learned and talk about themselves. In a closing circle of one-word diagnoses of the first day, the most common responses were ‘learning,’ ‘self-understanding’ and ‘growth.’ The second week was more concentrated on job interviewing and strengths.

It goes without saying that young people in these communities are facing great challenges. However, it’s trainings like these just maybe, will be the springboard for a smooth transition into the professional world; a world in which family limitations and childhood scars do not limit their ability to excel and lead in the workplace.

 
   

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