Day to day, our facilities are bustling with busy children, chattering and laughter and above all learning and (for the most part) listening. Often when I hear others describe what we do here at CFUM, the conversation centers around nurturing and supporting the health, well-being, and futures of children. But one very important component of our success lies within the families of our children.
There are many wonderful parents, grandparents, guardians, and caregivers insisting these kids stay involved by participating in programming and supporting the work we do with their children.
When our CFUM team of volunteers and program staff get to see this involvement play out in full circle, it’s noteworthy.
I introduce to you, the Truong family.
This fall, through an Iowa State University 4U Promise program, some of our program staff were able to tour the expansive campus with Amy Ta, mother of Kevin Truong – a North High School senior who has matriculated through our CFUM programming since he was in elementary school. Kevin was accepted to ISU and will attend tuition-free next fall thanks to this program.
Wanting Even Better for Our Kids
Amy is Vietnamese. She’s worked hard to provide for her three sons, Kevin, Kalen, a sophomore at North High School and Karson a Moulton Elementary student. She admits watching her sons learn, grow and succeed makes her happy.
“They are able to practice speaking English and the things they are accomplishing are good things. Kevin wants to go to college and I hope that he will go and do good and can take care of his family one day,” Amy shared with translation help from Kalen.
But it was Kalen who interpreted that Amy never had these opportunities herself. The opportunity to be supported by educators who would read with her, help her with her English, nurture her along to a college-bound future. She sees how good the programming can be when it walks alongside these neighborhood children.
“I have a girlfriend who lives on the other side of town. She doesn’t have programs like this in her area of town for her children,” Amy said of how fortunate she feels.
We recognize that these aren’t unique stories. There are parents who know the potential of their children and they are involving them in the before- and after-school programming at CFUM that can help them put college in their sights and opportunities within reach.
Kalen himself chimed in to tell about how his own CFUM involvement throughout the years has benefitted him, “I’ve liked how I get to go to new places and do things we don’t normally do like going to the aquatic center and the zoo or be part of events like Meet the Leaders.”
Believing in their Potential
That’s the story we live out every day in our buildings and programs…every page we turn reading books, every eraser mark made to tutor through homework, every smile we return to spirited children is a stepping stone to brighter futures. We’re proud to see when those day-to-day interactions eventually transition into high-school-graduation day and then first-step-on-campus day and finally, college-cap-and-gown day!
So, to the CFUM families of moms, dads, grandparents, guardians…thank you for insisting on this programming for your children. We’re walking with you through it all and sharing in your struggles, pain, and pride along the road of parenting. We know it’s not always easy, but working together we’ll show them we’ve always believed in their ability to succeed.
Consider volunteering individually, as a family or with your professional organization to play a role in brighter futures for CFUM families.