This year, the teens in SHIM’s Youth Mentoring program decided to host a Thanksgiving celebration. Calling it “ThankSHIMing,” the high school students formed a planning committee and worked diligently for weeks to organize a special multicultural evening. Many of the students have been involved with SHIM’s youth programs since they were in elementary school and think of their friends from SHIM as an extended family.
“I’ve been a mentor for many years to the youth that comes through the mentoring program, and witnessed many amazing and heartfelt things. Tonight was, however, extra special and I was truly moved.” -Lejla Sehic, Mentor, SHIM Board Member
Students worked hard to make invitations, decorations, table and plate settings, a menu, and even a music playlist. Thanks to generous donations students were able to access ties and dress shirts. Mentors taught them what “semi-formal” means and taught them how to tie their ties. Students were excited to have a reason to get fancy. They even purchased balloons from 412 Balloon City, a local business run by two SHIM Family Center program graduates who are now in college. Because Youth Mentoring students have diverse cultural backgrounds, the meal included foods from Nepal, Thailand, Zambia, America, Tanzania and Nigeria.
“I looked around the room tonight, so proud to have witnessed these kids turn into amazing young adults that WILL change the world. Each and every one of them speaks of higher education in science, engineering, becoming doctors, lawyers, nurses and teachers. These are not dreams anymore – thanks to SHIMs work, they’re a reality.” -Lejla Sehic
This dinner is a true representation of the power of SHIM’s youth programs. By encouraging teens to dream big and helping them take steps towards their goals, SHIM empowers teens to achieve and succeed. SHIM is grateful for the mentors and staff, especially the incredible Youth Mentoring Coordinator Miss Susie, for their dedication to these special teens.