Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Truly Thankful, Kids who Never Get Listened Too Have a Lot to Say About Who They Thank -- Money, Clothes, Tennis Shoes and Most of All -- Their Moms: Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Dear Readers:

It will never fail to surprise me who turns in the best work at the Boys and Girl Club. I was shocked by some of the students extraordinary efforts in my writing class. What truly amazes me and what I'm extremely grateful for is to watch them grow. Some of these students couldn't write when they walked in my class. Some are special education. And some were brains from the moment I met them. What I love the most is they've showed me what I already believed, but believe more than ever now -- every kid has a gift, and it's up to the adults, to help them find them.

Here is what several kids wrote what they are Thankful for...

Dominick Olmeda: I am thankful for my family, my friends and the country I live in. I am thankful for my family because they provide a safe environment for me and provide other necessities for me. I am thankful for my friends because they are awesome and always help me when in need. I am thankful for my country because the U.S. gives everyone rights and protects those rights.

I am thankful for those things because I need them and they need me.

Jamanlya Arellano, 17

I am thankful that I’m still alive. I’m thankful that I haven’t gotten into more bloody fights. I thank God that my mom is still here. I thank God that LT (the football killer who was recentlykilled) is safe up there. I’m thankful that my mom is watching out for me. I’m thankful for my friends. I’m thankful that I’m not in juvenile hall. I am thankful that my family is still together. I am thankful for my grandmother being here. I am thankful for my older brother being a father to me. Most of all, I am thankful for people hearing me.

I thank God that LT is in a safe place and not in the place we call hell. LT, I don’t know why you were the one to go. My blood became white as snow. When I heard about you, I thought that’s not fair. They took you away and they don’t even care. You were one of my homies and every one misses you…There’s too much pain in my heart thinking about you LaTerian. I wish you were still here to turn 18. You were one of the good guys. You turned your life around. Your death brought a lot of people down. I’m gonna’ make sure I get on the football team for you and I’m going to make sure to make sure that you are proud of me.

By Shelly DeLeon
You were there when I cried.
You were there in bad times.
You were there when I smiled, when I had a cold an to make me laugh.
You were there. You were everything to me, my best friend and the love of my life.
You were part of me, part of something I would miss dearly if ever taken away. You were the someone that I need in my life. I am happy and sad at the same time because you have been take away from me. I miss your hugs, your smiles, your laugh, the way you looked at me when you knew something was wrong.

But ever since, we haven’t talked, ever since we haven’t smiled or laughed, it’s been hard and different.

But I thank you every day for teaching me right from wrong, bad from good, to know what to do when things are bad. Thank you.

The person I speak about is a friend, Martin Garnica.

By Amani Holmes: I'm Thankful for My Thoughts & My Mom

I am thankful for my thoughts, because without them I would be ignorant. And I would end up doing ignorant stuff.

My thoughts keep me alert, because if my friends wanted me to do something crazy without thinking, I would probably do it. When I have no one to talk to, my thoughts keep me occupied. I always think of ways to improve myself or create. And creating is my life!

I love creating stories, poems, dances and art projects. I would be none of this without my thoughts. If a really hot guy said come with me: without thinking I would go. My favorite saying is: “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done rather than not doing things at all.”

My thoughts are a personal gift just made for me!

I am also grateful for my mom. She has been there through all my crap. Because even though I’ve talked back, got in trouble in school, purposely disobeyed her, said I’ve hated her, etc., she still loves me.

And even if she cusses me out, goes bipolar on me, makes up stupid rules, makes me wash the dishes, etc, I still find a way to love her back.

She keeps me in a safe place even when I’m not. We can be stubborn to each other. We can yell at each other. But in the end, we’re all that we have – each other…My mom is crazy. She makes me crazy. We make each other crazy. But without her stupid/funny/loud crazy, I would be a boring/shy/quiet person.

I love my life. I love my thoughts. And most of all, I love my Mom.

Go Boys and Girls Club!

Taryn Bedley:

I am thankful for a lot of things, one of the things I am thankful for is still being alive and being able to wake up every morning without any problems. I am thankful for having a supportive and loving family. One person I am thankful for is my Nana. I love her so much. I can talk to her about anything and tell her everything. Another person is Tonya. She’s always there for me and she always supports me and I love her like she's my mom.

I am also thankful for my mom even though she’s not here anymore. I remember everything she taught while she was here. I am also thankful for her because she’s the one who brought me in this world and I would be nothing without her help. I am also thankful for basketball, where it feels like all my problems go away. I am also thankful for my Dad, because he’s always there for me and he keeps me in line. He’s always strict on me, because he wants me to be successful in life and succeed in whatever I do. I am thankful for a lot more than that, but these are some of the things I’m most thankful for.

Tizvan Clinton:

I am thankful for my mom. I am thankful for my whole family. I am thankful that God wakes me every morning. I am thankful for my skills in basketball and football. I am thankful that I have a good meal every night. I am thankful that I have a good mom. I am thankful for bad things that happen to me because I think it only makes me stronger. I am thankful for everything I get because the kids in Africa, some of them are born with AIDS.

Glenn Hawkins, 15,

I’m thankful for the fact that I am able to use my imagination to draw these creatures:

(Glenn drew a beautiful cartoon creature here, which I could not post -- Diana).

I am thankful for my mom, because she never gives up on me, like everyone else does. When I mess up, she tells me how to fix it rather than laughing at me like everyone else does. She helps me to become stronger, smarter and an even better person. She appreciates my art work when everyone else mocks them. When other people try to destroy my inner heart, she’s there to help me through it all. Without my mom, I have no idea where I’d be. Thank GOD my mom is still here.

I also thankful for my English teacher, because she was the third person to believe in me. She believes that I am not what everyone else says I am. She believes I can succeed in my dreams of becoming a chef. I am thankful for Mrs. Williamson for helping me to learn how to cook more elaborately.”

Zeke Walton: I am thankful for: friends, family, life, clothes, shoes, games, phones, computers, TV, sports.

I am thankful for my family because they are always they and they are always supportive;
I am thankful for my friends because they are always there when I need them.
I am thankful for life, because I don’t when it could be my last.

I am thankful for clothes…

Austin White:

I am thankful for my family because they are awesome and I love ‘em all. I’m thankful for my friends because they are the best and they’ve got my back no matter what. I am very, very thankful for food because I’m fat and I eat too much, but it’s all a good because I never get fatter. I am thankful for phones because when I’m away from mine I want to cry. Also, I am thankful for my Ipod because I have separation anxiety and I miss it a lot. And I’m thankful for my shoes even though I don’t wear them unless I have two/too. And I’m thankful for cars, because I like to drive. And I’m thankful for MONEY
Because without it I wouldn’t be anything and I would be broke. And I’m thankful for being a happy person because being sad or mad is too much work.

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