One of the ASY Hampton Road’s signature programs is our Operation Hero after school mentoring program. A little girl enrolled in our program last spring had a dramatic growth experience in the program. Her father was on deployment and she had become very withdrawn since his departure. She was very quiet, paid attention during the lessons but never participated in discussions and never interacted with the other children. She was the ultimate definition of timid. When she needed something she had a very difficult time asking for it and would only whisper to her leaders. Helping her with her homework was difficult because she had no desire to learn anything. Within a few weeks of her participation in Operation Hero, her leaders started to notice that she was starting to interact with the other children and was becoming overall more social. By the end of semester, she fit right in and participated at every level of the program. So what happened? Her counselors were patient, the other children were taught be respectful, friendly, and give her space, and she gradually started feeling genuinely part of a team. She learned that the other children had struggles too, and that it was okay. She was given some valuable tools for expressing her feelings and learned to take pride in and responsibility for her school work. She is the reason we love this program!
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The Armed Services Y provides free or low-cost youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility programs for junior enlisted military & their families to make military life easier.
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