(Taking a step back to find perspective and composure...)
Hi. Welcome to Joel's Place: Live and Unplugged. Whether this is your first time visiting this site or you are one of the regular readers, thanks for dropping by to spend a few minutes hearing about Joel's Place Youth Center.
Talking to people is a funny thing, especially talking to people about things that are important to you. If someone asks you what you had for dinner or what the weather is like or how old your kids are, the answers are fairly clear and the conversation progresses neatly. If someone asks you about a deep theological question or about your hopes and dreams for your child, those answers take some more discerning. And really it is discerning both your answer of the question and discerning the other person. How much do they actually want to know about your opinion? Are they asking in order to fight or to be polite or because they really desire to know.
This is what happens with me when someone asks me, "What is Joel's Place?" What I have to do is gauge what they really want to talk about so I have come up with the one sentence, one minute and five minute responses.
- One sentence response: "Joel's Place is an indoor skate park and youth center for high-risk teenagers."
- One Minute response: "Joel's Place is a youth center for high-risk youth. We drew 1,100 teens in last year with skating, BMX biking, inline scooter sessions, free food and concerts. We want it to be a safe place where kids can have a ton of fun while developing the assets that they need in order to thrive in the world."
- The Five minute response simply expands on the One Minute explanation by talking about 600 homeless teens in the Borough and life skill/job skill developmental opportunities and the values that are learned through extreme sports and parallel play and our partnerships in the community and the 6,500 meals that we served in the past year and our Bone Builders Backpacks program and the amazing staff that we have and the stories of life transformation that we have after 15 years of service to this community.
If you are a supporter of Joel's Place in any way (donor, parent, alumni, volunteer, etc.), take a moment. Ask yourself how you would answer, "What is Joel's Place?"
Feel free to share this post with someone and when they ask you the question, you will already know what to say.