The Edge Blog


Sometimes the smallest act can make a big impact

posted Dec 17, 2013, 9:58 PM by Micah Mobley   [ updated Dec 18, 2013, 5:37 AM ]

In our final day at Edgewood Primary School for the semester, I had a student’s cooperating teacher share a small tid-bit that really made my day.  This teacher regularly has a mountain of paperwork for their student to help keep the classroom running smoothly.  Today’s assignment has become pretty routine for them…laminate and cut out a big stack of work that the teacher uses for their students’ schedules and daily academic activities. Upon receiving the work assignment for the day, the student asked some follow-up questions that revealed the true, helpful nature that our students reveal in these volunteer placement experiences.  When told that they needed to laminate a stack of papers, this individual asked the teacher if she would like them cut and sorted.  The teacher’s reply was that it would simply be a big enough help to get the actual laminating done for her.  Many people might simply take that and go.  But this student responded with a show of a genuine desire to do the right thing.  The question was, “well, is it going to be MORE work for you if I actually cut it all, or LESS work for you if I actually cut it all?”  When the teacher replied that it would be less work for her if he actually did it, his response: “Well, then I’ll cut them all out too.”

 

When we see our students doing things like this, it affirms our belief in the good that they are capable of.  It helps to affirm our belief that these young adults are capable of doing the right thing, even if it may mean a more difficult road to travel.  The teacher has commented multiple times about the helpfulness and politeness of this individual, and this was simply the latest in that line...and it never gets old.  Kudos to the teachers at EPS for the work they do, and for working with our students and giving them the forum to display and develop this side of their character.  Kudos to one of our students for taking a small opportunity to do the right thing, and in the process, reaffirming my belief in our students' capability to do right by themselves by helping others. 

Day 2, Kids already thinking

posted Aug 14, 2013, 7:29 AM by Micah Mobley

Working through the Government coursework can be a daunting task for some kids, and is one that many students roll their eyes at...that is, until they get into it.  Today we saw our first example of how it can light a fire when they get engaged.  A student who was working diligently for the first couple of hours this morning, suddenly blurted out, "Aggh.  The government makes me so mad!"  At first, I thought she was mad that she was going through the Government class...but no, she was upset because she, "...is paying taxes to have people who don't work, sit at home, buy alcohol or drugs!"  

At this point we were able to get the whole group engaged in a discussion that centered on the balance between security and freedom; and between the need for support and the need for oversight.  We discussed the way that individuals' rights are involved in such a situation. Should they be drug-tested to be on WIC?  Does testing like that constitute a violation of rights?  How would enforcement of that policy impact kids involved in these situations?  What about the people who are NOT abusing the system? 

It was  wonderful teachable moment, in which we saw kids get into the content of the course and start making the connections between school and the real-world.  Just thought it was awesome to see them all get into it the way that they did.  The moments are there.  We just gotta keep our eyes open to see them.  

Career Development Thanks

posted Mar 28, 2013, 6:45 AM by Micah Mobley

We all create the lives we live...whether we recognize that or not. The students at the Edge continue to be introduced to some various ways to influecne that creation in a positive way.  They have taken a couple of field trips recently that have increased awareness of possible ways to create the lives of their choosing.
 
Over the past two weeks our students have had the opportunity to explore post secondary school and immediate entry to the workforce.  As our students search the options for their career path, we were fortunate to have the folks at IU Admissions and at Cook Pharmica take the time to help our students explore our areas largest college and our areas largest employer.  At IU we got the chance to see the wide variety of possiblities that comes with a major university being located in our back yard.  Their student leaders shared what the college experience might offer.  At Cook Pharmica we got a glimpse of the inner workings in a real-life, successful company.  Their employees shared their personal experiences, and had some valuable questions and suggestions for our young adults.  We also took the opportunity to practice some business lunch etiquitte at O'Charley's.  We will continue to explore some different options, including Ivy Tech and some other smaller schools, as well as some military options so that our students will graduate knowing that they have choices in which career path they choose. 
 
We will share some more details as we get some put together, but we would like to thank Cook Pharmica, IU Admissions, and O'Charlies.  Also, a big thanks to Amanda Adhami, for doing a lot of the leg work to pull these trips together.  Thank you to our students.  You guys showed up ready to go, were dressed professionally, carried yourselves as mature young adults, and left a good impression with the folks we were working with. 
 
We will surely have more to share in the coming weeks.

Standing in the integrity of our word

posted Jan 29, 2013, 3:57 PM by Micah Mobley

As we have started a new calendar year, we have taken the opportunity to examine areas where we can continue to improve.  I continue to be amazed by the conversations that we have with our students about their lives, their goals, and their attempts to make their worlds what they want to see them become.  These conversations reveal a developing sense of who they are, who they want to be, and some incredibly dead-on insights that our young adults have about what it will take for them to become the kind of people they want to become.  Over and over, we hear the "correct" things being said...yet, we too often see slips backwards into old habits that are often counter-productive towards the goal of creating the lives they want.  

This begs the question, then: When we know what we want, and we can put it into words, how do we go about bringing it to reality?  This can be a daunting task for anyone.  But it is a task that can be made less imposing when we can start to put a simple idea into action.  When we strive to stand in the integrity of our word though, we can not help but see the positive results we all yearn for.  When we say we want to accomplish a task, then line our actions accordingly, we are in a position for success.  

Making the kind of life we want is not some unattainable monolith.  The positive results are simply a byproduct of that process.  When we stand in the integrity of our word, we are bound to improving.  When we take our own word seriously enough to take actions that give the words their value, then our lives and those of the people around us are going to be better.  When we recognize the potential power that our thoughts and words have (that is to say, by them being a catalyst for our action), then the other things begin to fall into place.  

This is not to say that we will be perfect, or that we will never succumb to human fears, faults, inadequacies, etc.  It is simply to say that when we stand in the integrity of our word today, then we are in a better position to be successful than we were yesterday.  It is a challenge not only to myself and to our students, but to all of us in our community.  

Another semester, as well as another year...

posted Jan 13, 2013, 8:06 PM by Micah Mobley

With the close of school this past Friday, the first semester of the 2012-2013 school year wrapped up.  In the first 180 days of this school year we have had some wonderful things to celebrate.  Of course, the first goal of students at the Edge is to graduate with a diploma.  Thus far, we have already seen five young adults celebrate that milestone in their lives.  Their lives have now begun a new phase.  It is one that includes more opportunity and option than might have been the case had they not hung in and continued to fight to overcome the obstacles they faced.  The result: their lives can be enhanced, as well as the lives of their future families. 
 
"Attendance is not the only thing, but it is the first thing."  This is a phrase that our students hear with a certain degree of frequency.  One of the biggestAs a group, we have worked our way back up to a 94% attendance rate...something that our students will tell you is extremely important to me.  In virtually any professional career, success begins with being truly present.  That is not to say just walking in the door, but being truly present, both physically and mentally.  Getting through the door daily is the first step toward being present.  Once we are in the door, then we can focus on the myriad of little things that account for being present mentally.  When that starts to happen, we see the positive results that make our efforts worth their while.  This is not to say that we have reached the proverbial mountain top, but we have certainly come a long way in a short time. 
 
Credit attainment for the students on our current roster is starting to pick up steam, especially toward the end of the semester.  The year started strong, then we hit a bit of a lull and and lost some of the focus and drive that we had at the beginning.  But I will give this group the credit that they deserve by saying that they have hung in there through the rough patch and have persevered, and are starting to see the kind of progress that is expected.  The result:  more of our group is now on pace to graduate on-time, than we were at this point last year. 
 
In closing, while we celebrate the accomplishments along the way, we know there is much work to be done.  We are grateful that we have been provided the opportunity to work in the way that we do, to create the kind of lives that we can be proud of.  We look forward to another semester...one in which we will see the fruition of the hard work and the maturation of the young adults in our program.
 
Mr. Mobley

Graduation Ceremony is at hand!

posted Oct 5, 2012, 10:28 AM by Micah Mobley

There are four graduates who have earned their diplomas in time to be officially considered a graduate with their class!  Congratulations to Sarah Sheese, Trei Norris, Kayli Lewis, and Ron Eads.  All four of these young adults could have folded when life's challenges interfered with their progress towards their diploma.  They all continued to push for something that they all thought was valuable enough to make the commitment to keep fighting for.  There will be a ceremony for these four individuals on Monday, October 8th at Edgewood High School.  Family members and friends are invited to attend to help celebrate their accomplishments.  A reception will immediately follow, at The Edge.  

Week One Review: Our first Graduate!!

posted Oct 5, 2012, 10:20 AM by Micah Mobley

My previous comments about the importance of the good first day, were supported by a complete first week of good things happening in the program. Our kids have started the year with the right attitude, and saw the benefits of that right away, as Sarah Sheese was the first of our students to complete her required courses, becoming the first graduate of the year! Congratulations to her!! Not only did we see our first graduate, a number of other kids are well on their way to earning their first credit of the year, even though much of the first week we see a bit of a learning curve. 

The vibe in the building is really positive right now and it will be important to come back and capitalize on that by following up with a true, full week of quality work. It will be awesome to see a few more credits roll in as they strive to improve their futures.

Day One in the Books

posted Oct 5, 2012, 10:19 AM by Micah Mobley   [ updated Oct 5, 2012, 10:20 AM ]

Day one of the 2012 school year was a positive start for our group. This group appears to be positive, motivated, and eager to get back at it. Of course it is a long school year ahead, and it will certainly present challenges, but the value of a good first day should not be underestimated. A good tone was set today, and now we will look to build on that throughout the week.

2012 Begins

posted Oct 5, 2012, 10:18 AM by Micah Mobley   [ updated Oct 5, 2012, 10:18 AM ]

The new school year is upon us, and I am excited about the opportunities that it holds for our students. We have a pretty large starting roster, so things will be very busy, but that adds to the excitement! Our group will be engaging in the development of their academic progress, their career planning, and their service to the community. 

When our kids succeed, our whole community benefits. Please encourage them when you see them doing positive things in their own lives, and in the lives of others. If you are interested in helping their development, please contact Mr. Mobley or Mrs. Gillenwater at 876-7926, to be a part of the excitement.

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