Sweeter in Community

You can do it! You are brave. We are here with you. You can do hard things. The chorus of encouragement rang through the room at Urban Air. Children and teens part of Back2Back Cincinnati communities of belonging were on a field trip, and one young man stood on the edge of the zipline ledge, hesitant and fearful. 

His friends and Back2Back staff encouraged him, reassuring him he could do this scary thing. He stepped back from the ledge, moving toward his community and was assured he didn’t have to do it today. But he walked back to the line, and when his turn came, he only paused momentarily before taking the plunge. His friends cheered loudly for him and as he was swinging, everyone saw the elation on his face. He spent the rest of the day on ropes courses, ziplining again, and conquering a climbing wall.

All throughout the summer, children, teens, and families tried new experiences with Back2Back staff – basketball camp, zoo trips, swimming, learning new games, working their first job, and participating in play therapy for the first time. Each opportunity was an invitation extended. Many were hesitant in the beginning, requiring external regulation and encouragement, but by the end of the summer, staff received comments and questions like “I am good at basketball now”; “Could I work for you in the fall?”; “Thursdays are my favorite day, because when we get to do play therapy!” 

Staff realized quickly trying new things in community is much sweeter as we are set up to offer encouragement, access to tools and opportunities, and slowly see students’ and families’ confidence grow.