On Friday April 12, 2013 Aurora Youth Options was fortunate enough to have one of our very own Mentor Program youth serve as a representative on the Student Panel at the Youth Mentoring Collaborative Symposium. This young man did an excellent job giving his personal testimony on how having a mentor has impacted his life. An audience member of the student panel emailed AYO the next week to share his positive feedback:
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On Saturday, February 23th AYO Mentor Program hosted its February Monthly Activity: Movie Matinee, where youth and adults watched the movie Akeelah and the Bee. The movie is about an 11 year-old girl from south Los Angeles with a special gift and the obstacles she deals with in her life. This is a great movie that promoted discussion for our mentors and mentees on a number of topics, but more-so helped our youth gain a better understanding of their own personality. This was a great time and experience for all who attended and was evident by the smiles on the youth’s faces.
On Saturday, January 19th AYO Mentor Program hosted its monthly activity, Helping Hands, where 32 youth and adults volunteered at the Aurora Salvation Army. Mentors and mentees boxed up seasonal decorations and holiday items and picked up litter on the property.
Volunteering is a great way to establish good feelings, and to develop a sense of self-worth and respect in a fun and social atmosphere. Youth experienced how much fun it is to help their community and how rewarding it feels.
On Thursday, December 13, 2012 Aurora Youth Options Mentor program held its December monthly activity: a Holiday Party Potluck. The event was for mentors, mentees, and their families. Over 55 people attended the event, making it one of the biggest events of the year! An Aurora Mental Health Center therapist, who uses drumming to bring people together, led a drumming activity with the theme of: understanding diversity, taking action, and overcoming challenges.
On Thursday, November 15, Aurora Youth Options Mentor Program held its monthly activity: Board Game Night with the theme of Setting Goals and Accomplishing Them.
Saturday, October 13, 2012 Aurora Youth Options Mentor program held its October monthly activity at The City of Aurora’s annual Punkin' Chunkin' event. The fun was flying, along with the pumpkins, as our matches watched pumpkins testing the laws of gravity. Other festivities included the Canine Flyball demos, kid tricycle races, scarecrow making, pumpkin patch, and lots of crafts for the kids. Our matches took advantage of this fun positive community event.
AYO Mentor Program held its second annual campout September 14th-16th, 2012. Twenty-eight individuals including youth, their mentors, and volunteers enjoyed the beautiful weather at Cherry Creek State Park. Many of the youth set up a tent for the first time, learning valuable lessons from their mentor as they worked together.
In collaboration with our community partners, on September 24, 2012, 170 family members experienced and learned steps to living a healthy life. A day to eat dinner with your family was an opportunity for families to learn more about the food plate that replaces the food pyramid. Events ranged from how to make healthy eating selections and physical activites. The entire event was hands-on with the opportunity to cook a healthy dinner (black bean tacos and veggie meatballs).
On Wednesday, August 22, Aurora Youth Options Mentor Program held its monthly activity with Shalom Cares nursing home patients, joining in on their weekly game night. The night started out with the group receiving a short briefing on the proper etiquette of working with elderly individuals. Mentor matches then went to residents’ rooms inviting them to play a game
of trivial pursuit and helping them to the game room. We divided up into teams; each team had equal numbers of AYO matches and Shalom Cares residents.
Saturday, July 14, 2012 Aurora Youth Options Mentor program held its July monthly activity volunteering during Aurora’s KidSpree @ YumFest on the Great Lawn at the Aurora Municipal Center. The event provided over 8,000 participants the opportunity to enjoy free hands-on activities and live entertainment. In addition to the family fun, this year the event also featured various food trucks with delicious diverse cuisine.