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Life Options Retreat 2014

by Emilio Garmendia and Rafael Quevedo

Nubra Floyd Reviews Retreat Activity Plan

Emilio: We participated in many activities, while up North at UCSC last November including Second Saturday’s networking retreat at Oakes College. Sunday morning we got to group up for talking about life. Mine was group four and included Chris Zuniga, Eloy Avitia, a UCSC student from Inglewood named, Amber Austin, and a UC Berkeley student who joined us on the trip whose name is Mario Monares.  Mr. Harris was the facilitator for our group. He said he was a cowboy back in the day and used to bring his horse with him to Second Saturday School. While in the group, we were communicating about the cowboy’s life and about the challenges we face now.

Richard Harris Shares About Cultural Heritage

My favorite retreat activity was the one called, “Crossing the Toxic River.” That’s because we communicated, we showed teamwork, we showed sportsmanship and–most importantly–we had fun. I also got to learn some life lessons, for example challenges that you might face during your college years due to financial problems. Another thing that I liked about that activity was when our teacher, Mr. Robinson told us he went off to the side and started crying. I thought that was sweet and cool. In the soon to be future I feel like I can benefit from my experiences up north but mostly from the toxic river activity, which taught me to keep moving forward no matter what happens.

Leo, Latrice & Sehai Grandison After River Crossing

Overall I thought the trip up North was a life changing experience. I would like to thank UCSC and Second Saturday Network in person for having us up there, but by now I’m a many miles away. I can’t wait to go back to see all those warm friendly faces, but with a little love and magic maybe we can soon be there again.

Madlyn Norman-Terrance Presents on Journaling

Rafael: My experience on the Northern California college trip was amazing and unforgettable. Having the chance to spend a few days on the road with Mr. Robinson, who is the best teacher ever and to travel with great classmates was awesome. Another exciting thing was getting the opportunity to visit UCSC and stay overnight.  Also, I learned many things from getting to participate in retreat activities and networking with the community facilitators.

Ken Lyons & Dwight Chism Join Hands With Youth

One thing I learned is that you always need communication in life. It was great to be able to talk to our small group facilitator, Mr. Asher. He was very cool. He really gave good advice and talked about himself and his experiences. We all shared things to each other which kept our conversation going. We talked about what careers we wanted to have, when we are older, and other things we can do as well. It was a great learning experience.

Robert Asher Talks With His Life Choices Group

The outdoor activity we did that was called “Crossing the River” also taught me a lot.  We all had to communicate in order to be successful in making it across, and we all pulled together to accomplish the goal of finishing college by using teamwork. Another thing I learned is to always keep trying and don’t give up. In the activity no one gave up, we all helped and cheered for each other to encourage and do our best. Doing all this was incredible and life changing. I would really love to go on that trip once more.

Alex Robinson & Morningside High Student Leaders

Photos by Mic Podorson