Junior Coach Orlando is a fourth grader at the Blackstone Elementary School in the South End with Coach Cheryl. He has shown incredible growth as a student and a youth leader since becoming a Junior Coach in October. When Coach Cheryl first met Orlando, he had trouble taking directions and would often distract his classmates in and out of class time. However, he had a dream to be a Junior Coach and nothing could stop his goal of obtaining a purple Junior Coach shirt. He continued to work with Coach Cheryl to prove that she could rely on him, often times picking up equipment without being asked and assisting his classmates in transitioning back to class quickly and quietly. After speaking with school administration and teachers, Coach Cheryl decided to give Orlando an opportunity to be a Junior Coach. Since becoming a Junior Coach, Orlando has shown incredible confidence and has flourished in his new leadership role.
During the month of January, Junior Coach Orlando found himself in the middle of a conflict with peers on the playground. There was an argument over a game that was quickly beginning to escalate. Instead of being involved in the fight, Junior Coach Orlando decided to use his newly acquired leadership and conflict resolution skills to try to resolve the conflict. At first he attempted to use rock, paper, scissors to calm the students involved down. However, this didn't work and the students remained upset, so he decided to ask Coach Cheryl for help. Coach Cheryl and Junior Coach Orlando worked together to resolve the conflict amongst the students. Junior Coach Orlando stressed the importance of apologies and forgiveness to his fellow peers. When Coach Cheryl talked to Orlando after recess was over, she asked him how he came to his decision to resolve the conflict in the middle of the chaos. He responded, "I decided that I wanted to be a role model. I thought about what Carmen, another Junior Coach and Orlando's close friend, would have done and it seemed like the right thing to do." We are sure that Junior Coach Orlando's drive and commitment to be a role model and incredible Junior Coach will set him up for a successful rest of the year.