Laugh and Smile

Taylor Richardson

Middle School Leader

20171017_234838544_iOSI have been with SON Ministries going on three years now, being involved with both SON Ministries Summer Lunch Program and the Family ESL Program. I started working with SON Ministries when I was a sophomore in college and I am now a graduating senior. Working with SON Ministries has completely changed my life and my life’s direction over these past three years. On the first day, I walked into a gym filled with laughing and playing children and fell in love. Over the next three years I began to understand what my passion was and fell even more in love with each of the children. Through working with SON’s mission, I understood that I wanted to work with children to create a path for success and equity in every child’s life. This is what SON Ministries cultivates and pursues. With graduation approaching in two weeks I have accepted a position with Teach for America and will be in a classroom by next school year. I am excited for my first day to walk into a classroom and fall in love with those children. Every day that I come to work I see the life changing things that SON Ministries is doing for the families in our program, but reflecting over these past three years SON Ministries has been doing equally life changing things in my own life!

This year SON has created a program specifically designed for the middle school aged children that come nightly. The middle school aged children now have their own space and time to do activities and games that are age appropriate in hopes to retain our older children involved in the program. I have had the great pleasure to work with this group of children. We have done so many exciting things in the short 4 months that we have been together. We have carved pumpkins, cooked meals together, had movie nights, played some intense soccer competitions, and other exciting games!

IMG-4892.JPGMany of the children that come to our middle school group are the oldest sibling in their families and hold many responsibilities when they are at home. One of the middle school girls that comes nightly told me during our pumpkin carving night that she was having so much fun and she isn’t usually the one that gets to have fun, her younger sibling are the ones that get to have the fun at home. That was such an eye opening and special moment for me. This middle school program specifically is so important! These children all deserve to feel like children. They deserve to laugh and smile because they are just having FUN!

At SON Ministries, we build up COMMUNITY one respectful, empowering relationship at a time.

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