I was introduced to a ten-year-old named Clayton, who was assigned to Genesis two months ago. He told me he hadn’t seen his parents in six years without any emotion. He had been in several other facilities until his social worker brought him here. He liked Genesis except he does not like loud noises or boys who are loud, and it gets on his nerves when they make too much noise. I asked him what he liked best, and he escorted me to a sign outside of a door saying “Gaming is the Best” which let me know that he was like most typical boys who love to play video games. He liked the Sony PlayStation 4 and Minecraft was his very favorite.
He shared that he enjoyed riding horses and going swimming at Genesis. Bicycle riding is another favorite and his bike was black, white, and blue and he was learning to do tricks on it. He went into a diatribe explaining how he could perform wheelies step by step. It sounded dangerous to me, but he loved telling me the steps needed to complete it properly. He also likes to skateboard and is grateful they have an ample supply at Genesis. He likes the staff members and was anxious to return to the swimming pool that afternoon.
He is in the fifth grade and likes his teacher. He did not have a favorite subject but did tell me he was taught reading, math, science, and geography. He was able to explain the school schedule which let me know he paid attention, liked being on a schedule, and knew what would occur on a regular basis.
He mentioned his older sister and had visited with her and an aunt a few months ago. He didn’t mention if he had seen them while at Genesis or another facility. He was expecting to see them again and hoped it would be soon and he would travel to where they live. He had been to Incredible Pizza with his sister, aunt, and his social worker and was able to play a game where you use a big claw to pick up an item and he got a big ball! I know how difficult it is to grasp anything inside the game and it was a real feat to get a prize. He was a real winner that day!
Clayton has a strong desire to travel and see many places in the world including the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, and Disney Parks (and wanted to know which park was closer to Oklahoma), and his very favorite would be to see The Amazing World of Legos. I asked about his ambitions, and he shrugged his shoulders. When I informed him that there are grown-ups who are paid to build with Legos that are used all over the world, it interested him and gave him things to consider. I do not think he had ever heard of such jobs before. I hope I sparked a bit of interest in him.
He has definite opinions of what he likes to eat, and he barely touches many vegetables. His favorites are raw carrots and broccoli, but he must have ranch dressing to dip them in. He will eat cooked (not raw) green beans but has to have pepper on it to give it some flavor. He likes fried onion rings and French fries. When he sat down at the table, he had a cup full of liquid and it looked like coffee. I asked him and he laughed and said, “No, it’s chocolate milk!” We talked about how coffee appears, and he informed me that his social worker loved Starbucks and had taken him there. He loves Vanilla Frappuccino, and we discussed his high-dollar taste! He even knew how to spell it (which impressed an old English teacher like me!).
Every time I meet Genesis boys, I am amazed by their stories and where they have been, and am hopeful for their futures. I know they need guidance and direction and for the time they are assigned here, the staff go out of their way to provide that to them all the time. It takes a special person to work with these individuals and they need all the help they can get. Money helps to open doors and provide opportunities to give direction to these boys. Contributions hold a significant key in keeping Genesis operating properly and providing new direction to these young people. Will you not consider giving from your heart and making a real difference in their lives?
If you would like to enhance the lives of our boys, we’ve provided some easy options so you can help us give hope. Thank you!