I recently taught a Drum Circle Class at Vita Nova. Everyone learned the basic skills so quickly, leading to a very fluid session. I enjoyed getting to know everyone’s stories and how music played a role in their lives. My favorite moment was when each person shared a song that meant a lot to them; they then tried to duplicate the beat on their drums with everyone else following. I would definitely be open to working with Vita Nova in the future, they are an amazing group of people doing impactful work in our community.
I am so grateful to have received my first ever grant from Healthier Neighbors in such a time of need. Also, I am grateful that my introduction to applying for a grant was smooth. As a recipient of the grant it has truly allowed me to make the necessary enhancements to my business for growth. During a pandemic so many people had to pivot personally and professionally, and my grant experience allowed me to do both. Not only was I applying for funds, I had to help others understand the importance of what GLOWrious Bath & Body was on a mission to do. The trainings provided, the encouragement given, and the sense of community definitely helped me charge forward. Fast forward, the funds has been exercised to great use by providing me with a more seamless interface to interact with my consumers. Lastly and more importantly, I have established and continue to build lasting relationships with those I’ve met along the journey. Again, I am so grateful that this experience has been pleasant and edifying.
Sister to Sister Palm Beach State College – In March we had two events. One was Nutrition. My name is Sherry Fletcher and I am the coordinator of the program but I am also a registered dietitian and we reviewed some information about the credentials of a dietitian/nutritionist and some basic nutrition information with Mentors and Mentees. It was interesting because one of the Mentors is our Director of our RN to BSN program. It was nice to see that she was backing up the information I was trying to get across to the audience and her knowledge about nutrition. We made a great team. Mentors and Mentees attended the final Money Skills sessions from PNC Bank at this session the discussion was how to protect yourself from fraud. It was interesting to hear how some of the students had the personal information almost stolen or altered. Many of the students felt that both sessions were beneficial to them.
For the Women Helping Women mini-grant, we’ve been very receptive in regards to client mental health needs during this difficult time as it relates to world affairs. Previously, we were offering virtual-only Zumba classes every Monday evening as a COVID-19 safety measure. Now that restrictions have been relaxed, we have recently been able to offer in-person Zumba classes at the park next to our site to great success. Originally, our numbers for virtual Zumba were small but steady. However, since we’ve started offering in-person classes, those numbers have been growing! Our participating clients love in-person Zumba classes and have commented on how helpful they’ve found the class. “I feel refreshed and energized, and I’ve been losing weight.”, said one 25-year-old client. “Attending classes in-person has been a breath of fresh air. “Every Monday evening, the Lake Worth West Park is flooded with women of all ages, dressed in athletic attire with the goal of living a healthier, less stressful, and wholesome day-to-day life. Everyone is all smiles from the time the music starts to the time it ends. Our Zumba instructor is lively and friendly, always happy to guide and help others through the steps. “I love Zumba!” she says. It’s certainly easy to tell from the energy she puts into the class instruction. By the time the class is over and it’s almost dinnertime, the participants part ways with a new outlook on health and fitness.
Vida Smith sharing her story of survival and struggle from domestic violence and being a homeless mother to a successful PhD candidate truly inspired me — as I listened to her story as part of Family Promise SPBC’s Sharing Survival Stories Saturday. My role at Family Promise is to interview the storyteller and prep them for going live or being recorded. Over the course of two days/six hours, I was enthralled with Vida’s story of leaving her homeland of Ghana and moving to the United States after getting married to a seemingly nice American man. Once here, she suffered terrible mental and physical abuse from a very controlling husband, who wanted to dominate her in every way – to the point, she was held hostage in her own house. When she had her daughters, the abuse worsened for her until one day with the help of an angel (her neighbor), she escaped with her children. Through local social services, Vida and her daughters were able to find housing and much needed help and guidance. Vida said that it is through her faith in God that she overcame this terrible situation. She decided to draw upon her inner strength to become the person and mother she wanted to be. She chose to be a role model to her daughters and not a victim. Today, she is working full-time AND earning her PhD in Leadership. How this story impacted me. Listening to her story, I thought how many other women, moms and children are out there – that go unnoticed as abused or trafficked. As a result, of her story (I’m getting emotional as I write), I have found a church that helps with abuse and human trafficking and aim to be an integral part of this mission.
Dovecot Farm hosted the second Barn to Bedside retreat on Saturday 27th March.
The group comprised Clinical Director and therapists from the Addiction/ Recovery industry in Palm Beach County.
The agenda was the same as the St Mary’s team. All participants completed their DISC before the retreat. Similar wear & tear on the S column – this relates to the PACE of work/ environment. We held an open discussion on COMPASSION FATIGUE, the therapists were openly talking about experiencing burnout.
The Clinical Director is a huge fan of drumming circles in group therapy so he lead that activity. It was fun!
It was clear that this team really needed to decompress- the sound healing piece at the end was very healing, the team all completely relaxed. Fascinating!
It was a busy week with two retreats only a few days apart. However, the program delivered! I am really happy with the feedback and impact we made.
I am delighted that Barn to Bedside retreats is resonating with our target audience.
Caregivers/ medical / health workers were reaching burnout before the challenges of covid. Now it’s firmly at the top of the agenda.
Therapists are willing and open to discuss burnout. They are looking for solutions, they are open to this kind of wellness/leadership retreat.
Feedback from the LMHC and therapists:
“AMAZING! I loved the DISC, sound healing, kindness/ thoughtfulness.”
“Thank you…Different ways to achieve mindfulness.”
“I really enjoyed the program. Safe space, clarity and organization, peace.”
“This was incredible. It fits perfectly with my approach to therapy. Thank you so much.”
“DISC, guided meditation, knowledge on equine assisted therapy and equine emotional intelligence. This was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.”
“Amazing work. Keep it up! I loved everything.”
“I wouldn’t change anything. I loved all the process. I appreciated all the healing process.”
“An incredibly beautiful and moving experience. Thank you so much.”
“The sound bath…”
The mini grant allowed me to get my “back of store” in order, which includes signing up for and using a new streamlined sales funnel/project creator (HoneyBook), which has made the proposal, contact, and payment progress 1000x smoother. This also makes my business, SPARC Guidance, more professional and helped me establish contracts for trainings/coaching sessions with Early Head Start via the Early Learning Coalition. I am also now able to offer family coaching sessions and I hope to expand SPARC to the School District next.
Family Caregiver One (FC1): “Amazing, thank you so much”. This is one of the initial response Each Starfish Matters (ESM), received from FC1 after she received a care package. As we listened, we heard that FC1 is caring for her mother. Her mother is 84 years old and is experiencing the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. FC1 does not have any siblings and she has a fulltime job. Luckily for FC1 her work schedule is flexible. However, the demands of her job required that some of her meetings were late evening. She told us that her lifestyle now resolves around her mother’s daily needs. FC1 indicated to us that her work schedule was now being driven by her mother’s needs. As we continued to support FC1 we learned that she is now having all meetings by early afternoon and in some cases she has asked her contacts to allow her to meet with them on the weekends. FC1 is trying to maintain own her lifestyle and her job while coping with the new demands of family caregiving. As we closed out the grant, FC1 thanked us for her last care package and told us that other family members had taken the “cute” face masks which were included in the package. (Each Starfish Matters)
My experience of this mini-grant was one where the kids that attended the Theater Appreciation/Monologue Acting Workshop were free to express themselves in their own, unique way. They expressed what they wanted to get out of the workshop, what they came to work on, and what their biggest “take-aways” at the end of the 2-hour workshop. I experienced them experiencing connection with everyone there, a safe and sacred space, creating value through creative self-expression, exploring their passions, and building their experience/expertise and knowledge around that workshop’s topics. We could’ve stayed longer than the 2 hour-window we had set and scheduled for this specific workshop! The participants/kids attending had shown real potential and talent in their self-chosen monologue acting, expressed their gratitude for the workshop and those other participants/kids around them in the workshop as well as myself leading it, and really impressed the adults there including myself with what words they used when sharing from their hearts all the way down to their performances at the end. They exhibited diversity amongst themselves with very different, relatable monologues that resonated with them and performed in their own, beautiful ways often using the word “dynamic” in what they wanted to work on and accomplish in the workshop. Hearing them share what value they created in those 2 hours warmed my heart. I see bright futures for these young actors and would love to do something like this again as soon as possible! The value in building confidence in these kids and connecting with them truly is priceless.
We have completed three courses so far for our future leaders primarily for high schoolers in PBC. So far the theme has been on leadership development in which the courses focused on discovering your purpose, goal setting through vision boards, and tonight on public speaking. Every class has a keynote speaker who is a subject matter expert and each one so far as imparted seeds of knowledge, discovery and engagement. In many of the surveys so far, the youth have expressed that they never really thought about their purpose or that they didn’t know that every person on this planet was born with a purpose. A few of the youth shared their vision boards with me which is such a blessing. It shows how many goals some have and others are going through a discovery process of asking themselves about their goals–perhaps something they never really thought about let alone putting thoughts on virtual paper/canva LOL. Tonight, we had about 25 participants and ten of the youth participated in “table topics,” an opportunity to practice impromptu speaking on a host of topics that were age appropriate. One of the girls said that she never would have thought that she would share in a group setting and she wasn’t sure “how we did it.” What she was really saying was how did she get the courage to talk in front of people, even if by Zoom. These may seem like small wins but they’re huge to me. The next session will be on microaggressions and racial equity awareness. In March and April, the focus will be on financial awareness and in May and June, we will shift the focus to job preparedness. I may shift and provide courses outside this curriculum by partnering with another agency to discuss college preparedness. I love that I can be nimble and adjust to the needs of the students without heavy bureaucracy and red tape. Thank you BeWell PBC! I believe the impact to the youth is great and I can’t wait to see how their lives will be impacted by the time the Future Leaders graduation comes around in July.