At nine years old, young Eli has learned one of the most important things that martial arts teaches: resilience.
Eli started attending one of PowerUP’s after school programs at the beginning of 2023. While in class, Eli ran into an issue that all us can relate to, he did not get along with one of his classmates. This didn’t bother Eli much at first so he never brought it to the attention of staff. However, everyone has their breaking point. After a particularly hard day, Eli came home and told his mother that he wanted to quit martial arts.
Eli’s mother knew that he loved this class and couldn’t understand why his attitude changed so quickly. After having a talk with Eli, his mother learned about the bullying. His mother did what she thought was best and reached out to me and asked to have Eli removed from the program.
What drives me to work with PowerUP is my desire to help students overcome any challenge. This is why when a parent asks to have their student removed from our program it is my job to dig deeper into the problem and find the best solution for everyone. My first call was to Eli’s instructor who was then able to set up a meeting with the school counselor. By bringing Eli, the counselor, and the other student together, we were able to not only address the issue with the other student but inspire Eli to get back into class. This was also a learning experience for the other student who did not understand the impact they were having on Eli.
After the session with his instructor and counselor, Eli was ecstatic when he told his mother he was going back to martial arts. She was shocked at the change her son had made and how happy he was to get back into class. She expressed to me that she was incredibly grateful for the support PowerUP provided not only to Eli, but also to the rest of the students.
In one of our many phone calls she mentioned that she was “Grateful for all of the support my child received and for reminding my child the reason why he wanted to begin martial arts classes in the first place.” She also let me know that since starting classes Eli has received an award for his excellence in math and takes the principles he has learned in class and uses them at home.
This is what is so important about having an extra positive role model for our scholars. The mentorship provided by our instructor not only was sufficient to handle this issue, but since this incident occurred we have been able to work with both students on their habits and further instill PowerUP’s three core principles: self-control, resilience and respect.
It is these exact experiences that show how PowerUP is winning. As a program coordinator, it is my responsibility to provide parents with a safe space to bring up any concerns and find the support their scholars need. This is only possible by building strong relationships with parents and being available to them as well.
Please consider sponsoring a student or a partner program in the future. $500 can support one student like Eli for an entire year.
Donate now to help us assist even more students in 2023!