Student becomes the mentor
I come from a place where nobody gives me any responsibilities, nothing to take pride in. My experience in the Community Solutions program has been nothing but great for me, it made me question my career path. . . maybe I want to be a mentor. I want to help more young children, girls in particular, that have a similar history as me, to show them that their situations don’t dictate their future.
It’s amazing how some things play out, I was in the Community Solutions programs for 2 years, I believe. When I first started in the after school program, I never spoke because I was still upset at the fact that I was in foster care. I didn’t want to be there at all. I started to open up months after starting. I grew to love Mr. John and Mr. Joe, my two favorite staff! They never gave up on me, everyday they would try to get me to speak, they did everything but it was on me to stop giving one word responses and hold a conversation with them. After that it’s history, now I talk holes in everybody’s head.
I was in the CS Brighter Futures summer camp as well. I liked it, it was a great learning experience. I got a job at Kentucky Fried Chicken soon after the summer camp was over. I learned so many things about the business world… how to dress, how to properly interview, how to speak, all that good stuff.
This summer I reached out the Mr. Larry for a job opportunity because I quit my job at Kentucky Fried Chicken and needed a job for the summer. He gave me a chance as a camp counselor. Being a camp counselor was probably the most fun but stressful thing I’ve ever done. There were so many different personalities who needed very different kinds of attention, it blew my mind. There were 3 pre-teen girls that I connected with because in every single one I saw a part myself. Even though they didn’t like my leadership or take it seriously because I was closer in age to them than everybody else, I just wanted to guide them in the right direction. In my opinion. they believe that fun equals trouble, which is so untrue. I wanted them to understand that I’ve done everything they have done and probably more. It was short lived though, they didn’t want my guidance. Besides that, I got to be a child again, I probably had more fun on some field trips than most of the children. Just being a part of the CS staff or family was amazing, it made me realize how much I loved to be around children.
I just want to thank you all for giving me the experiences and continuing to help me throughout my senior year of high school, preparing me for college and the adult world.
Dr. Gwendolyn Cherry: "A Life-Long Learner"
Virginia Beach, VA - September 17, 2018 . . Community Solutions is proud to announce that one of Hampton Roads' most-esteemed helping professionals has joined the Community Solutions team to equip our youth with tools for success. Help us welcome, Dr Gwendolyn Cherry.
Dr. Cherry graduated Cum Laude from Norfolk State University in 1980 with her undergraduate degree in Special Education; Cum Laude in 1991 from Regent University with her Master Degree in Education; in 2007 earned her Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, Miami, FL. In 2009, she studied abroad at Oxford University’s Hertford College in England. Dr. Cherry earned a second Master Degree in Government with a certification in Law and Public Policy from Regent University in May 2010.
Dr. Cherry served as the Director of the Office of Youth Development for the City of Norfolk; and has extensive experience as a teacher, behavioral specialist, dean, consultant, and school administrator with Norfolk Public Schools. Dr. Cherry retired in 2008 from Norfolk Public Schools with over 33 years of service.
After retiring, Dr. Cherry has served as Executive Director, AMIKids Norfolk, Administrator, Second Chances Youth Program; and Education Consultant with Family Systems II, Inc. and Community Solutions academic programs. She is the owner of Cherry Education Consulting, LLC.
Our Community Solutions' families are going to benefit greatly with Dr Cherry on the team!
It's about more than supplies.
Virginia Beach, VA- August 27, 2018. . .The days are still warm and the sun may be a little brighter for parents as it's that time of year again - back to school! As parents prepare students for back to school, they often get caught in the details of purchasing school supplies and backpacks. Those are important, of course; but the Social Workers, Case Managers, Probation Officers and other helping professionals realize that back-to-school for many families means more than arming students with simple school supplies.
For many, back-to school means facing the challenges and battles that come with daily homework. It means facing the inevitable struggle to make sure their student actually goes to class. It means worrying over whether or not their student will participate in the education process or even socialize at all with any of their peers.
Here at Community Solutions, we know the struggle families and students face. The helping professionals of Hampton Roads have turned to Community Solutions for the past 17 years to provide resources to the youth in our community. We meet the students where they need it most: in the home, in the school or in the community. During the school year, two of our programs stand out the most in helping students succeed in navigating their educational journey.
Does the student need extra help on homework or school assignments? Community Solution's Afterschool Program offers a convenient plan that helps students realize their fullest potential. The after-school program offers 1-to-1 guidance and mentoring for optimal results.
Out of School or Suspension
There are times, despite best efforts, that we find students in a situation that suspends them from school. The CS Out of School & Suspension Programs are structured daily activities in a Community Solutions' Classroom. Parent-child meetings are held to develop a plan to ensure success and to avoid repeat suspensions.
Any Social Worker, Case Manager or other helping professional interested in more information on Community Solutions' youth programs, please drop us a line or call us at 757-461-5098. Together, we can make this school year a positive experience for our young people!
Tips to teach children respectful behavior
Virginia Beach, VA - July 31, 2018 . . .August 1st is National Respect Your Parents Day. Here at Community Solutions we work with parents throughout Hampton Roads to help strengthen families and empower parents with the tools necessary to raise their children to thrive and survive in an ever-changing world.
Part of a well-adjusted family life is a mutual respect for one another. In honor of National Respect Your Parents Day, we'd like to share a few tips to for parents to teach children the value of respect.
Community Solutions offers Parenting Groups and Parent Mentoring programs. Give us a call at (757)461-5098 or contact us to learn more.
Join a parenting class today.
VIRGINIA BEACH – Community Solutions offers a variety of services to help families overcome barriers and obstacles in order to find long-term success.
“The purpose of parenting is to prepare and protect our youth to survive and thrive in the kind of society in which they will live in,” said Desiree Reyes, president and owner of Community Solutions.
Parenting classes and mentoring opportunities are available to interested families with the goal of offering caregivers of all ages better tools to effectively communicate, develop relationships and nurture those around them.
“I learned the meaning of responsibility and accountability as they are related to providing for and protecting myself and my kids,” one participant said.
Classes include video and in-person instruction, group lessons, and structured exercises to equip parents with tools for success.
“The class taught me to “retrain my brain” and not expect my children to understand adult emotions and thoughts,” said one parent participant.
All parent services are strengths-based and involve all family members. A thorough assessment process guides highly trained staff to choose the right approach and array of services for each individual family.
“Together with our community partners we can develop a roadmap to guide the family to a better life,” Reyes said.
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