I am Peter Gormley. My wife, Rocio, and I are deeply involved in the Hispanic community in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. We recently got involved with Mind in the Making (MITM) by way of an invitation from our friend Elizabeth Sierra, to help start a Spanish-speaking team.
Through our experience with people over the years, we strongly believe there is a need to help families reconnect and maintain heart connections. Furthermore, we are convinced that this profound need affects all races, cultures, and economic levels. No one is immune to the distractions and dysfunction of today’s culture unless we purposefully chart a better course. The great and encouraging news is that people can and will make necessary changes once they see there is hope. There are tools available to break unhealthy patterns.
This was our first group together, though Rocio had done one group before. This group consisted primarily of church children’s leaders and volunteers, including several teenage volunteers. Everyone connected very well and were excited and involved with the material presented. It was also VERY interesting to hear the teen’s perspective on family relationships and connections. That was one of the highlights of the 8-hour class, and the youth seemed as connected to the material as the adults.
We believe that this “Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs” material is extremely vital to equip people with the mindset and tools to develop healthy relationships. The classic proverb about teaching a man to fish so he can eat all his life applies perfectly to these truths. A young person who learns how to think clearly becomes far more able to navigate life successfully and make a difference in the lives of others.
We led the group through the seven skills, following the curriculum as best we could, but the group was so connected to the material that we could hardly steer them to the next step. The 8 hours passed so quickly; it was over before we knew it. We programmed the course in two 4 hour sessions, one week apart, on Saturdays. From a sign up of 24, we started the class with 20 and ended up with 16 graduates the following weekend, as a few had surprise scheduling conflicts.
It all flowed so easily and quickly that we are seriously considering a Friday evening/Saturday morning schedule. We believe that this tighter schedule will allow us to keep the entire group together through completion.
In conclusion, we are so very excited about MITM. We believe that this is a great extension of our current work with the Hispanic community, and we are thrilled to be a part of helping these precious people excel and thrive. Thanks to The Patterson Foundation’s support, we look forward to reaching many more with this dynamic program.