I am so happy I decided to do this, you guys! My first couple of weeks, I wasn't so sure I'd made the right decision. It's hard as hell to leave work on time and be anywhere by 6 p.m. Then I picked a day where the girls don't have "Group," so I was just sitting in the TV room with them, watching BET. Like, how is that helpful.
They all ask me questions and judge me:
Ms. T, are you married? Do you have kids? Do you want to get married? Do you even want kids? Why are you here? Why don't you stay longer like the other workers (Had to tell them the difference between volunteers and paid workers)? How are you going to get married and have kids and you don't even have a boyfriend? Like, what are you doing?
Chile, I have to put on the whole armor of God to go to mentor.
What's worse the girls come and go. So I could see someone this week, who I'll literally never see again.
BUT about 2 weeks ago, I was finally able to break the ice. I thought I was going to be like a teacher, taking them through life's lessons, but that's not my purpose. This group home is the girl's HOME, so my job (as told to me by the mentor coordinator) is to make their lives better. Fam, this is exactly what I'm called to do in ALL situations. I mean, do I not make your life better? ;-)
So one day instead of trying to talk them about condoms and going to college and making good decisions or whatever else, I brought a game of Taboo. It was about seven girls there and only one wanted to play, so I just played with her. But you know how fun Taboo is, by the end of my two hours all the girls were playing and the on-site staff had come in the TV room to play as well.
What's better, is that girls who had been giving me the cold shoulder were smiling and laughing and now they know when Ms.T comes, we're going to have a good time. We've also played Uno, Charades, and some game named Garbage with playing cards.
I also bring them magazines. I bring black mags because some counselor was there when I observed and had all the Glamour, Self, Shape (all white everything) mags. I was like no ma'am. They've started to make requests. Did you know Hip Hop magazine costs $6.99. MF for what?!?!?!?!
I let them use my phone, so I now have teenager selfies all over my phone and I basically just let them run all over me. (Except for foul language. I don't play that.)
One girl pulled up a song on YouTube and said "Ms. T, they curse a lot on this song, ok? Please don't trip."
She also asked me for $20 to which I replied o_O. Oh yes, they try it.
I asked them to show me how to do the Nae Nae. I failed miserably at that, but I tried.
The point is, I'm really in love with these girls and I'm glad that just showing up and being myself is truly all I have to do to make someone's life better. How dope is that?