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Help Students Achieve College and Career Success

by Jovial Concepts
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Help Students Achieve College and Career Success
Help Students Achieve College and Career Success
Help Students Achieve College and Career Success
Help Students Achieve College and Career Success
Help Students Achieve College and Career Success
Help Students Achieve College and Career Success
Help Students Achieve College and Career Success
Help Students Achieve College and Career Success
Help Students Achieve College and Career Success
Help Students Achieve College and Career Success
Help Students Achieve College and Career Success
Help Students Achieve College and Career Success
Help Students Achieve College and Career Success
Help Students Achieve College and Career Success
Help Students Achieve College and Career Success

I want to start off firstly by saying: thank you. The support you have given Jovial Futures has been invaluable and has allowed us to do many amazing things for this community.

Your donations have funded educational trips to the museum, program supplies, a ropes course day and mentor activities.  You have allowed us to enrich the lives of the students who have been involved in our program over the past year and we are incredibly grateful for the support.

Our non- profit, Jovial Concepts, serves the Edgewater community and we have decided we need to readjust our focus, so as to continue to ensure maximum impact.

This refocus has resulted in our decision to not continue with the Jovial Futures program.

Working with the students has been the highlight of this program and we will miss being a part of their lives on a weekly basis.

Jovial Concepts will continue with our greenhouse and seed to table program. This program focuses on sustainability, healthy living and providing access to high quality food.

Jovial Futures has had some amazing accomplishments over the past year. We have worked with over 30 students and helped them to find their spark. We have learned a lot, and had tons of fun together.  We feel that our students have confidence and positivity making them more prepared for the years to come.

Thank you so much for your support and we wish the students all the best in the upcoming school year.

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With the school year finished and summer in full swing there is plenty of time to ruminate on all that we have accomplished.  This school year has been tough between the schools merging together and tensions between students there were times that I thought I wasn't going to make it.  But we did and we managed to create really beautiful things in difficult circumstances.

All of our 7th and 8th grade students were matched with mentors who had their first meeting in May.  It was so exciting to see our students engage with their mentors, ask questions and be able to talk about their sparks confidently.  

We also created an amazing collaborative community project that our students are proud of and worked hard to create.  They created a video that outlined the changes that would happen when the school combined and conducted interviews with principals, teachers and even the mayor of Wheat Ridge.    

There were times this year that I didn't feel like I was getting through to them.  I would create a lesson plan and then something would erupt and make us veer off topic.  But when I saw them interact with their mentors I knew that the core message of Futures had been absorbed.  Sparks ("passions") are a way for us to connect better with others and to better our lives.  When I saw my students talking confidently to adults about what they were passionate about I was so proud of what we had accomplished.

This year serves as testiment to how our Jovial Futures can adapt to new students and circumstances.  I am very excited for the upcoming school year in the new combined middle school and high school and all the challenges and adventures that will bring.

The summer is not completely without events.  We will outings planned such as soccer games and attending a ropes course as a group.  We are also planning our end of summer party that will bring together students and mentors to celeberate the upcoming school year.

Thank you all for your continued support as we continue to work together to create a jovial future.

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Robert is opinionated, plain and simple.  Robert is definitely the entertainer of the group.  He loves to be the center of attention and often cracks jokes and makes everyone laugh.  Robert's energy is amazing and he act's as a leader to the rest of the group.  

However, when we are making decisions as a group Robert finds it hard when he feels like his opinion isn't being heard.  Recently we were working together to design our t-shirt.  This is an exciting process because we like to have the students involved in every aspect of the process: from choosing the colors to the final design.  This year the group voted to have a turquoise shirt with a soccer ball on the back with each of their sparks (passions) represented as pictures inside the soccer ball.

Robert was not pleased with this decision.  He brought forth the idea that we should put a 'Taco Cat' on the back of the shirt.  Taco Cat is a popular internet meme that is a picture cat inside of a taco usually accompanied by the caption 'Taco Cat spelled backwards is Taco Cat.'  

When designing our shirt we wanted to have it reflect what our program is about: discovering what you are passionate about (your spark) and using that to do better in school .

We explained to Robert that we felt that a shirt with Taco Cat on it, though funny, would not reflect our club. Despite our reservations, we put the Taco Cat design up for a vote and the other students instead voted unanimously for the soccer ball design created by another student.  This upset Robert to the point where he stormed out insisting we were not being respectful of his ideas.

The next week the kids got together and were finishing up the design for the shirt. Robert was not there. Each of the students were given a space on the soccer ball and we instructed them to draw or select an image that represented their spark. The rest of the students insisted that Robert be given his own space and that we incorporate Taco Cat into the image in some way. Ultimately they choose an image of an acoustic guitar, since his spark is guitar and then had Taco Cat in the background.

This was a potentially difficult situation where we got to see our students treat each others interests and ideas with great respect. The design for the finished T-shirt is attached and we look forward to getting them printed and distributed.

Our students have also shown great interest in the well being of their community in their choice and execution of a community project.

This year the middle school that we currently work in is being combined with the local high school. This means that grades 7 through 12 will be in the same building. This transition has been a concern for parents, students and administrators alike. Our students decided that it was important to make the best of the situation and make the transition as smooth as possible for themselves and their fellow students. They are creating a video, that will be posted on social media that will explain the changes and what can be expected. This video will contain interviews that the students themselves will conduct with individuals such as the mayor, teachers and principals. The students are also designing a pamphlet that will give information about the school merger as well as tips and tricks about how to deal with the change. These will be distributed to students and parents.

With the changing school district Jovial Futures needs your continued support to adapt the upcoming changes and to continue to enrich our students lives. Thank you so much for your donations and support of our program.


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Jane (pictured below) has been in Futures since it began back in March of 2014. One of the first things we asked her was: What is your spark? That thing that gets you up in the morning that makes you excited about the day. Jane thought about it and timidly answered, "umm..art." When asked: “What do you want to do for a career?”, she answered, “I want to be a tattoo artist like my parents and my uncle are.”
Over the course of this past year her transformation has been tremendous. She can now proudly tell us not only her spark (which has changed from art to archery), but can now confidently explain what a spark is and why it is important our new students. When we asked about her career now she has decided to “Take my own path”. Jane has even been involved with other nonprofits including, designing a bra for Free the Girls.
Jane can now imagine herself pursuing a multitude of paths and does not feel limited to just tattoo artistry as her only option.
Jane is the first to ask for us to hold Futures on the Wednesdays where school lets out too early for after school programs to meet. She has also flexed her leadership skills by helping us recruit new students and becoming involved in student leadership at school. Her enthusiasm is infectious and has brought many of the quieter students out of their shells. Her now best friend Jill, could barely say her name when she entered our program, but now has the confidence to express herself and is pursuing her spark of rapping.

Futures has given Jane and students like her purpose, focus, and confidence. Students from all backgrounds and walks of life are able to meet and talk about what makes them passionate and give each other support so they can reach their goals. Futures encourages students to think critically about how their spark can not only provide them with joy, but with direction and even a career. Futures also provides a safe place for students to express themselves with the knowledge that their fellow student respect their passions and opinions.

We have teamed up with Wheat Ridge 5-8 to help them reach state standards by hosting an assembly that will bring together speakers from many fascinating careers to talk to the student body.

We will also be partnering with a local nonprofit to create a joint community project in this coming trimester. We are currently deciding between many worthy causes and will have the student help create as well as participate in the project.

Starting in March we will be expanding our mentor program to include one day a month where students and mentors can meet on campus to help with homework and academic goals.

We need your help to reach our goals so our student can continue to explore their sparks. With our now 20 students we need funds to reach our goal of being able to afford to send all of them to summer camps. 


Thank you for supporting our students sparks.

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Our trial trimester was a great success and we are now entering our first full year at Wheat Ridge 5-8 and enjoying our expansion into Jefferson High School! 

With this added time of a full school year, Futures is looking to take our program to the next level.  We want our kids to look at their community and ask how they can make a difference.  Futures students will utilize a wide array of their sparks and culminate the year by participating in a community building of their own design!

We are very grateful to Jefferson High School for being so welcoming and supportive of our program and we deeply appreciate the continued support of Wheat Ridge 5-8 for this upcoming year. We are much obliged to have parents who understand the value of our program and encourage their students to come back each and every week. We are expecting about15 high school students for 2014/15 and to double our middle school attendance from the spring.

We are thrilled to announce the expansion of our mentoring program as we partner with local and likeminded programs in the community! By banding together we expect a greater impact from existing programs as well as Futures in supporting our youth to college and career.

As a new, exciting, and innovative program we still need additional help to make all of our hopes and dreams for this program a reality.  Your support whether it be monetary or otherwise is always appreciated.

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Organization Information

Jovial Concepts

Location: Lakewood, CO - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @jovialconcepts
Project Leader:
Kristina Welch
Lakewood, CO United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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