Learning Resilience On the Roller Rink


This past Friday, July 12 at B-SAFE at St. Augustine and St. Martin was FUN-tastic!

After studying the weather forecast all week and realizing it was going to rain, our partner churches took creativity and flexibility to a whole new level. The Parish of the Good Shepherd in Waban and All Saints Church in Brookline came together to create a wonderful rainy day plan for all the participants and teens of B-SAFE at St. Augustine and St. Martin.

Rather than having a day at a lake, we took the bus from Lower Roxbury to Mattapan and enjoyed a morning of roller-skating at Chez Vous Roller Rink. Many of the participants, teens, and staff were first-time roller skaters! Some of us fumbled and fell. But, in a lesson that applies to other aspects of life, we got right back up and soon got the hang of moving around a rink on four wheels.

We built our sense of community through the support offered to each other. Teens and adults gave participants skated alongside participants and offered encouragement. Other young people felt more comfortable holding onto the bar on the wall as teens guided them around the room. Even though the rink was hot and the exercise made our shirts stick to our skin, we listened to the music and rolled with passion.

As mentioned, this field trip was more than just fun. It taught us some very important lessons. When you fall, you should get right back up. Learn to roll with the situation. Based on what young people said as they boarded the bus to travel to Waban for lunch and more fun there, I am sure that many young people will be going back to enjoy the welcoming environment at Chez Vous Roller Rink and to practice their skills of resilience. 

By Cassandra Bernabel, Site Manager for B-SAFE at St. Augustine and St. Martin

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Ten years ago, Cassandra's first job was as a teen CIT (Counselor-in-Training) with St. Stephen's Youth Programs. For the last year, she has worked full time as the Site Manager for SSYP's afterschool and summer programs at St. Augustine & St. Martin. She is a graduate of Framingham State University. When not working at SSYP, Cassandra is studying for her Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) at Tufts University and playing with her dog, Rico, whom she loves.