In late September, three members of the Play Rugby USA team attended a two-day workshop to become Hopeologists: Kevin Braithwaite, Youth Development Mentor; Ben Slaughter, Program Manager; and Dom Wareing, Youth Development Director.
Held at PS76 in Harlem, NY and led by ‘Kids at Hope’ founder and chief treasure hunter, Rick Miller, the workshop was attended by local school staff, counselors and after-school providers.
The core belief of Kids At Hope is that every child can succeed, NO exceptions. The team explored that very basic cultural strategic framework and how an entire campus/organization/community can support the success of every child.
Through interactive discussions, seeing video of Kids at Hope in action and working through a comprehensive manual, the team dissected and explored the research behind the framework and their Three Universal Truths:
- Believe – If kids are surrounded by adults who care and believe they will succeed – this sets them up for success.
- Connect – If the students also have meaningful and sustainable relationships with the adults that believe in them, they will succeed.
- Time Travel – When kids can see themselves being successful in the future – not just at school and in work but at home and family, in the community and with hobbies and pastimes – they will be successful.
These universal truths are then reinforced through 5 Best Practices:
- Belief – Surround kids with adults that believe they can succeed – no exceptions.
- Pledge – Demonstrate and practice positive self talk.
- Report Card – Document the multiple intelligence of kids.
- Passport to the Future – Helps kids mentally time travel to their future and return to the now with a plan on how to achieve their goals, giving them Hope for the future.
And finally, the team explored the concept of Aces, which tracks the caring adults in a kids life and how they contribute to their future hope.
- A of Hearts: Anchor/Parent who supports our ‘Go Forward’ Culture and supports positively.
- A of Clubs: Other Caring Adult, site or tournament staff?
- A of Spades: YDM with High Expectations.
- A of Diamonds: Opportunities for success from Coaches/Managers of non-school programs (BBA + Academy).
From a reaffirming mantra that underscores our belief in the potential and “treasure” of each student, to “Time Travel” workshops that support young people in taking the time to imagine their future and decide on actionable steps to arrive there, the Kids at Hope framework dovetails well with Play Rugby USA’s commitment to supporting ALL young people to embrace a life of vitality through our values-in-action.