Friday, December 16, 2016

Alexa Rauvola: Artisans Reflection

We closed our first semester of mentoring with Artisans through a Christmas party with dancing, food, and presents. While the event was fun, the most special aspects of the whole event was the evidence of the community Artisan’s has created. I never really understood the impact we had, but at the party I could clearly see how Artisan’s gave mentees dozens of new friends from both the mentors and the mentees. Whatever their situation at home or in life, they had love from a program that would just let them be themselves. While hectic at times, I think Artisan’s does that well. If anything, it’s a place for individual’s with physical or intellectual disability find a community. 

My mentee, Amy, isn’t usually one to be the loudest in the room or go out of her way to talk to people, even to me. I wasn’t sure if she was going to come to the Christmas party, she usually doesn’t do well with over stimulation or loud noises. However she came and when she arrived the amount of people that greeted her and were happy to see her was really cool to see. Most days, Amy and I just color in silence or chat about the Seahawks, but I really think she enjoys knowing there are people there for her at Artisan’s. While the relationships aren’t filled with constant conversation, I think she appreciates the company and outlet to meet more people. 

I’ve noticed Amy continue to grow throughout the semester and I can’t wait to see what happens by the end of next semester. It’s a special program and I’m lucky to be apart of it. 

-Alexa Rauvola
Seton of Gonzaga

Monday, November 7, 2016

Jordan Lane: Artisans Reflection and Knights and Setons bonding

Throughout my high school years I worked closely with a group of mentally disabled children at school, and since leaving high school have really missed being apart of this type of service. I am so thankful that our club Setons and Knights get to work with a similar group of people. Though I have only met with with Mary, my mentee at Artisans twice, she has already brought me so much joy. The first time we met, we discussed her interests and what she hopes to do with me this year. She asked me if we could bake together, which is one of my favorite hobbies, and then preceded to show me her favorite recipes. This past week I was asked if I would like to take Mary to “Disney on Ice.” We had a great time together and it was a joy to see how much she enjoyed the show and all it had to offer.
This past week our club celebrated Halloween a little early by hosting a costume party. We had a great night, showing off our sibling costumes, and playing games. My favorite activity was simply watching the doughnut eating relay. Teams of four inhaled their doughnuts as quickly as possible with everyone chanting and cheering them on. It was very impressive! The Knights and Setons is a fun loving group, and I can’t wait to see where this year takes us!

-Jordan Lane
Seton of Gonzaga

Giovanna Brunetto: Artisans Reflection and Logan Cleanup

My mentee’s name is Terry. When we first met, I could sense some awkward tension and I was a little nervous that we were not gonna hit it off right away. I’m the outgoing, ask a bunch of questions kind of girl...he’s the shy and keeps to himself kind of guy. Sure enough, the first day consisted of me bombarding him with questions, desperately trying to get to know him. He politely shook his head yes or no to just about everything I asked. I was trying everything—from asking about his family and friends to simple things like favorite color. On a little side note, Terry has a speech impediment, so with each response I had a little work to do just to decipher out exactly what he was saying. I kinda liked it. I was figuring him out, getting our dynamic down, building a relationship with someone I just met. 

Now, three weeks in, Terry and I are buds. Every week he smiles when I walk in, gives me a fist bump, and starts telling me about his weekend adventures. We have gotten more social and comfortable together, and it’s always such a pleasure seeing him and all the other mentees every week at Artisans. This week we played wii bowling, and the look on his face when he got his first strike was something I will cherish so much as being his mentor. Something like this, even though it was so small, is what makes service for me so worthwhile and enjoyable. This is why I love being a Seton. We are emerged in such incredible opportunities surrounding service that I wouldn’t have been presented with otherwise. Thanks to Setons I got to meet Terry and we are only going to grow stronger as the year progresses which is something I am so excited for.
Moving aside from Artisans, we also had our monthly service event this past weekend as we cleaned the Logan neighborhood after a pretty eventful weekend...HALLOWEEKEND...spooooooky! We all got up pretty early Sunday morning and divided into groups, picking up trash in three block increments. With all the groups we had, we picked up so much trash that morning and I was so proud because we made such a difference. One student who was walking around noticed us picking up trash and screamed across the street, “That’s sick guys, thanks so freaking much!” We really didn’t do anything special; just put on some latex gloves and picked up whatever we saw on the ground. This upcoming weekend we have another service event as we are participating in an Annual Raking Blitz for Catholic Charities. Even though it is also a pretty early ordeal this weekend, I’m excited to see what kind of difference we can make this time around. 

I love the group of girls and guys we have this year as Knights and Setons. We all work together so well and have so much fun with each event that comes and goes. We had a fun little Halloween party and my Knight brother Chase and I dressed up as Sandy and Danny from Grease. I loved seeing everyone’s couple costumes, and all the creative things people dressed up as. We are all getting to know eachother so well and it just makes being part of this group such an amazing experience. I am excited to see what the future holds!!

-Giovanna Brunetto
Seton of Gonzaga 

Anna Stember: Artisans Reflection

I’ve been looking forward to starting service with Artisans for a few weeks now. In the past, I’ve had experience working with adults with disabilities through my mom, who is a speech pathologist. Because of this, I was eager to begin with the mentees in Spokane to see how it would compare with experiences I’ve had in the past. Due to some scheduling issues I wasn’t able to meet with my own mentee, but instead I was able to spend time with a couple different Artisans participants. 

I had such a blast! First, a group of six of us (a mix of mentees and GU students) gathered around to play Uno. The game was full of plenty of jokes and laughs. It was great setting and activity to to highlight the differences in personalities of everyone in the room. Jacob, for example, was energetic, talkative, and continuously cracked jokes. Reid, on the other hand, was more quiet but loved to sing. He also is very talented at making card houses (that patience is incredible- you go Reid!). After playing Uno and making card houses, I spent time with Buddy (mentee) and Eli (his mentor). Buddy loves Scooby Doo; he was playing episode after episode on the TV in the room. He is very quiet and has a harder time speaking, so the show was a great way to see him excited about something he enjoys. However, it was difficult to communicate with Buddy because he often didn’t respond to our questions about setting some goals. He did mention he likes boats and games, which definitely was a step in the right direction!

Overall, I enjoyed my time at Artisans this week. I can’t wait to further my relationship with the mentees over the course of the year. 

-Anna Stember
Setons of Gonzaga

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Colleen Donoghue: Aritsans Reflection

            This week was my first opportunity to meet my mentee at Aritsans. I had never worked this closely with adults with disabilities before. I was very hesitant at first, but my nerves were immediately displaced once I got there. Each mentee that I met over the course of my two-hour service were exceptionally kind and excited to have us there. During my two hours, we colored, played Yahtzee and talked about our interests. We held mild conversation, consisting of mostly small talk and lots of laughs about Halloween. Small talk isn’t something I usually enjoy, however, the time went by fast, too fast and I found myself wanting to know more about my mentee and how to help him reach his goals. My mentee was not afraid to tell me what he liked and what he was thinking, this made our conversations enjoyable, but in the weeks to come we will work on moving conversations forward and asking questions back to those you are talking to; this was a goal we decided to work on together. Already the process has been rewarding and humbling. I am excited to be challenged throughout the semester; my mentee is going to teach me a lot about life, persistence and patience.

Anne Gilbert: Aritsans Reflection

This week, I met with my mentee Valerie for the first time. We started off by talking about goals that we wanted to achieve by the end of the year. Valerie was a very nice girl, who is also very shy. At the start, I had a hard time getting to know Valerie because of how shy she was. This reminded me of this summer when I worked with people with special needs and some of them were also very shy like Valerie. I realized I just have to be patient with her, and she will eventually open up. As time went on, she started to tell me her interests and things that she wanted to achieve this year. Our goals were to make new friends, work on counting money, and become a better baker. During artisans that day, we played games with the other mentees and mentors. Next time, we will start working on our goals by counting money because Valerie wants to work at the mall. Overall, I had a great first time at artisans. It was awesome to see her warm up to me and get to know her.

Anne Gilbert
- Seton of Gonzaga 

Andrew Yang: Intentionality

         Working with Artisans has been equally transformative as gratifying. For the next year, the non-profit organization has granted me the opportunity to mentor Mr. Ricky Lockridge. Now meeting Ricky was not what I had expected. Upon arriving to the Artisan Ark, I anticipated a young, enthusiastic mentee with a lively weekly schedule. However, walking through the empty, mundane facility, I saw a middle-aged man sitting alone with a look of overall unhappiness. Immediately, Ricky came off very guarded, defensive, and discontent. He was reluctant to fill out his goals worksheet and had the only desire to draw in his 3 by 4 inch notepad. Interacting with Ricky was difficult and became somewhat frustrating. Nevertheless, it wasn't until I reflected upon my intentionality that changed my weekly service experience.
            Intentionality is a selfless act that calls us to meet the individual where they are, not wanting to be caught up by a busy, meaningless schedule. Service has taught me that much of my intentionality requires me to simply be present and serve from my heart. Seeing Ricky's mental disability was ultimately heart breaking, yet filled my heart with compassion. I quickly realized that everyone needs love and desires to be loved. And showing Ricky love calls for me to meet him where he is at, even if that looks like sitting in a dull room solving puzzles or sketching flames on a notepad.

Andrew Yang

- Knight of Gonzaga


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