Pathfinders Blog

Stories about our youth, Pathfinders news, and more.

Staff Perspective

I Have Feelings

A young Pathfinders client recently taught me the true spirit of resiliency. I’ve been fortunate to provide this fantastic organization with fundraising and communications counsel for the past few months.  I recently bumped into “Callahan” in the copy room. As staff sometimes have family members visit, I mistakenly assumed Callahan might be a colleague’s daughter. She cheerfully introduced herself to me, and when I asked what brought her here today, she told me she had a group session coming up.  It dawned on me that the child survivors of sexual assault group would meet in 30 minutes.  I walked back to my desk, angry with a world that would present any trauma to this sweet young girl.  Sadly, one in four girls and one in six boys will experience sexual abuse by the time they are 18 years of age. Every year, Pathfinder’s Hand-In program provides individual, family and group therapy to youth 6 – 17 years of age, serving 100 youth and their families each year. Groups typically serve 12 young people each session.

 As the afternoon went on, I worked on some challenging reports, requiring math and analysis outside of my comfort zone, putting me into a worse mood. As I left the building, I bumped into my new friend Callahan, who peered up at me with a serious look and stated, “I have feelings.”  Considering my mood, I empathetically replied, “So do I,” then noticed the Popsicle sticks with emoticon faces on them that Callahan held in her small hands.   Creating tools with pictures of feelings is a therapeutic device designed to help children develop the skill of identifying how they feel.  I asked Callahan what she was feeling at the moment, and she reviewed every stick, her little fingers carefully turning them over, and she happily selected one. She proudly showed me the stick with a smiley face wearing sunglasses.  I smiled and thought that if Callahan can leave Pathfinders for the day feeling happy, so will I. Now when confronted with life’s challenges, I think of Callahan and her smiley face popsicle stick, knowing that something positive is just around the corner.

Staff Perspective

I Have Feelings

A young Pathfinders client recently taught me the true spirit of resiliency. I’ve been fortunate to provide this fantastic organization with fundraising and communications counsel for the past few months.  I recently bumped into “Callahan” in the copy room. As staff sometimes have family members visit, I mistakenly assumed Callahan might be a colleague’s daughter. She cheerfully introduced herself to me, and when I asked what brought her here today, she told me she had a group session coming up.  It dawned on me that the child survivors of sexual assault group would meet in 30 minutes.  I walked back to my desk, angry with a world that would present any trauma to this sweet young girl.  Sadly, one in four girls and one in six boys will experience sexual abuse by the time they are 18 years of age. Every year, Pathfinder’s Hand-In program provides individual, family and group therapy to youth 6 – 17 years of age, serving 100 youth and their families each year. Groups typically serve 12 young people each session.

 As the afternoon went on, I worked on some challenging reports, requiring math and analysis outside of my comfort zone, putting me into a worse mood. As I left the building, I bumped into my new friend Callahan, who peered up at me with a serious look and stated, “I have feelings.”  Considering my mood, I empathetically replied, “So do I,” then noticed the Popsicle sticks with emoticon faces on them that Callahan held in her small hands.   Creating tools with pictures of feelings is a therapeutic device designed to help children develop the skill of identifying how they feel.  I asked Callahan what she was feeling at the moment, and she reviewed every stick, her little fingers carefully turning them over, and she happily selected one. She proudly showed me the stick with a smiley face wearing sunglasses.  I smiled and thought that if Callahan can leave Pathfinders for the day feeling happy, so will I. Now when confronted with life’s challenges, I think of Callahan and her smiley face popsicle stick, knowing that something positive is just around the corner.