Ruvi, is one of our oldest mentors. She started in 2007 at our South Park Middle School program. The first time I met Ruvi she was a shy 6th grader in her first month of middle school (we all know how that feels). As with every youth, I saw great potential in her. So we started challenging her in ways that would expand her ever-so-small comfort zone; and then… she blossomed!
Over the next few years we saw Ruvi truly applying the skills we were teaching in our Adventure Challenge Program. These were apparent changes at home, in school and with her friends. In addition, she began showing a desire to learn more about “what we do”. It was then that Ruvi was invited to join our Youth Mentor Program as an 8th grader. Since then she has become an expert at our ropes course where she is sets up/takes down the 35ft-high elements, belays youth, and teaches about safety on the course. She also helps Youth Odyssey clean up Blucher Nature Park and the South Texas Botanical Gardens where together with her peers they remove trash, invasive species, and create trails for the park visitors. Over the years she has attended numerous camping trips throughout Texas and New Mexico with Youth Odyssey; and has always been an excellent role model for other youth.
I am so proud of Ruvi’s transformation. And honored to have watched her grow into the responsible adult she has become. This year, Ruvi will be graduating from Carroll High School as a Lieutenant (0-3) in her ROTC program. She will then enter into the Army as a private (E-2). We cannot wait to see what else she will accomplish in her future. She has come so far, and is no longer that timid 6th grader I met years ago. Way to go Ruvi!!!