“I Was Just Tryna Check on You”

Posted on by Bonnie Rodriguez

Chaos. Worry. Uncertainty. Three words that sum up what COVID-19 has brought many of us in our lives.

Uncertainty probably does it the most for me. What’s going on with the kids? Are they doing their online schoolwork? How do we get in contact with them? What’s their IG (Instagram) name? I worry about them like a big brother (or young uncle).

One night, maybe to quiet some of the worry, I found myself playing the video game online. I got a friend request from this person with the gamer tag “Huncho305.”  I added them to the friend list, and on my headphones, I heard, “What up, Jules?” I immediately recognized the voice. It was one of my high school boys!

Later, I got a text on my phone that read, “Yooo what’s good Jules, this is Damian. I’m was just tryna check on you.” He’s one of my boys who’s been away from the KIX program for a while.

I started looking through my social media page, and I see a couple more messages from my middle school boys. Through online conversations with these boys, I learned how they missed being outside and how tired they are of staring at phone screens all day. Some of them even miss going to school!

My uncertainty and worry for some of the kids turned into clarity and ease. Here I was, reconnecting with boys and learning about them in ways that are refreshing.

Because of COVID-19, I’m reconnecting with students who were gone for a while and learning about them in ways that are refreshing. Even though we’ve had a lot taken away from us during this pandemic, I’m finding new ways to connect with kids and restore old relationships.   Zoom, IG Live, home visits, and even video games have become our new norm. Who would’ve thought after chasing kids for years I would have my young guys checking on me for a change!

Jules Altidor

City Life KIX West Homestead Site Director

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