When I grow up, I want to be…

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This question, which every child is asked at least once during their adolescence, can evoke a variety of answers. Some answers can make one chuckle, others can be a surprise and a few can leave one in awe. No matter which answer is given, the question is important because it gives children the chance to think and share about their future hopes and dreams.

Recently, we sat down to chat with some of our youngsters as they painted wooden birdhouses that became the table centerpieces at our Journey Home breakfast. We asked them the age-old question and here are a few of their responses:

 “When I grow up, I want to be a linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts.”      – Jeffery, 9

“I’d like to be an orthopedic surgeon.” – Kristofer, 13

“I want to be an animal doctor.”– Lacey, 3

“SpongeBob SquarePants!”– Jonathon, 2

“Well, after becoming a teacher, I would like to go to law school and be a lawyer. Then…become President of the United States.”– Reginald, 15

Coalition for the Homeless staff encourages our young clients to dream big and motivates them to envision all they can accomplish if they work hard. For younger children, our daycare staff teaches self-awareness and self-respect. Every day, the youngsters recite their student creed which incorporates the motto, “I am somebody.”

We encourage the older kids by offering extracurricular activities such as Girl Scouts, the Boys & Girls Club, the ABCs program, music lessons, and off-campus excursions (thanks to our wonderful volunteers). These activities also stress the idea that, through determination, one can accomplish anything.

Hopes and dreams, as well as the motivation to achieve them, are important for any youngster. When a child lives in a homeless shelter, however, he or she might not believe they can reach for the stars. That’s why we strive to inspire Coalition children to be all that they can be. And by the responses above, we believe we’re succeeding!