Monday, December 13, 2010

"Once in Cabrini Connections...ALWAYS in Cabrini Connections"

The Cabrini Connections' program has over 800 volunteer alumnus and over 500 student alumnus and we truly feel that once you have been a part of the program you will always be a part of the program...and the network. Earlier today, Bradley Troast (Assistant Program Coordinator) and I received a surprise visit from former volunteer Stephanie Rogers and former student Aarion Woods.

Stephanie started in the program as a tutor/mentor in the Fall of 2008, but in the first couple of weeks changed her role and began in the College Zone part of the program where she remained there for a couple of years. During her time as an active volunteer Stephanie not only assisted students and volunteers on a weekly basis, but she also either joined efforts or came up with other projects that assisted with bringing in resources for the entire program. Stephanie remains connected to the program through the internet and by visiting from periodically and by sharing information to the staff, volunteers, and students that are still active in the program. Ms. Rogers also makes an effort to donate to the program.

Aarion Woods joined the program in the Fall of 2008 as well and was paired with, now Board Member, Mike Ozmeral. Aarion faced a lot of adversity outside of the program, but worked extremely hard to be as consistent as possible with his attendance and taking full advantage of program resources. Unfortunately Aarion's homelife and lack of resources forced him to become inactive in the program. But Aarion's strong personality, charm, and his willingness to continue overcome adversity has put in a position where he is now working and taken courses to get necessary certification at his place of employment to move up in the ranks. During his visit today he was all smiles and displayed a sense of pride when talking about what he has been going through...but more importantly how he has overcome those obsticles.

Thanks to first year volunteer, Brian Kamajian, Bradley and I were able to share a great job opportunity at the Wyndham Hotel with Aarion who immediately contacted his good friend AND Cabrini Connection's alumnus, Lawrence Brown, to share the information about the job. Before hanging up the phone both Aarion and Lawrence made plans to travel to the Wyndham on Thursday during the open timeslots to acquire more information about the job opportunities.

Bradley and I definitely enjoyed catching up with Stephanie and Aarion and to hear about all that they have been doing outside of the program, but it also felt good to exchange information and resources as well. This is a perfect display of how the Cabrini Connections' program is one big network and how that network can and should benefit any and everybody that has, is, or will be a part of the Cabrini Connections' TEAM.

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