Short Term 12 is “Raw & Honest”

“Remember you are not their parent, you are not their therapist, you are here to provide a safe environment and that’s it.” -Grace (Short Term 12)

Short Term 12 tells to story of Grace,  a twenty-something supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers.

This film sparked my interest because I was placed in foster care from about age 9 until I was adopted at age 16. I lived in a family home setting as opposed to the group home setting featured in the film. Hearing Grace say the quote above captured my attention. Those words are a reality for too many foster youth.

I thought, “This trailer just got real”. More often than not, foster youth are removed from what they know as home, for reasons beyond their control. To think that they are then placed in an environment where the staff are instructed to only provide a “safe” environment is horrible. How can youth reach their full potential? Without nurturing, love and support, the system is setup to produce few successful adults. I digress.

Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12 writer and director) presents a raw and honest depiction of life for staff and foster youth in facilities similar to Short Term 12. The relationship between the staff and youth warm your heart. Be prepared for the whirlwind of emotions you will experience.

At the end of the film, reflect on the beginning. Unfortunately, that reality is a continuous cycle for some.

Check out Short Term 12 now playing in select theaters.

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Upgrade You

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Whether it’s a career, job, relationship, friendship, health or fitness, don’t be afraid to upgrade.

Confession: I’ve allowed myself to accept less than I deserve and sat comfortably in a below great position. That’s not the person I am, nor want to be. I decided to give up good and go for great. Let’s do it together!

How to Upgrade You

1. Evaluate – Take notice of where you are and where you want to be. If you don’t know where you are and where you’re going, it’s easy to get lost.

2. Plan – Map out the steps you must take to reach your goals. Write a list, create a vision board and compose a outline. Having multiple visuals serve as constant reminders to keep you focused on your end game. Lists allow you a sense of accomplishment, each item crossed off brings you closer to your goal.

3. Execute – Fulfill the requirements of your lists, vision board and outline. Keep placing one foot in front of the other. It may seem that you are far away, but you can reach your goals. If you fall down, get back up. Remain consistent, positive, focused and work for what you want.

Hosting “Meals of Love” at Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House

If you follow my personal Twitter and/or Instagram accounts you know that i’m on the Circuit Board of Echoes of Hope’s “Be A Light” program. The program provides Echoes of Hope youth and volunteers with opportunities to actively give back throughout the community. The Circuit Board is responsible for spearheading the Be A Light projects.

Sunday, Nov. 18, we hosted “Meals of Love” at Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House (LARMH), through its Happy Meals program. By preparing and serving dinner to families, who spend all day at the hospital, we allowed parents much needed time to relax and enjoy a meal—without dishes to clean.

After serving families (about 75 individuals) an Italian feast and fresh baked cookies for dessert, we played a few rounds of Bingo using M&Ms and gummy bears as board markers.

This project was a great way to kick off the Be A Light program. The residents and staff were awesome. We enjoyed it so much that we plan to visit in 2013. After cleaning the kitchen we took a tour of the house and learned a few fun facts.

Did you know that LARMH residents come from all over the world? The house is pretty dope. There is a game room filled with just about every gaming system. The library is filled with books, comfy seats and children are allowed to take any book of choice back home with them. And for the moms and pops there is a parents ONLY room.

Below are a few shots from our visit.