Navigating during the pandemic: Our new normal

May 15, 2020 | New York

As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to disrupt and change all of our lives, it’s very important to find innovative ways to be of service for our young people. At the start of the pandemic like many providers, finding alternatives to in person programs, meeting the needs of our scholars, and sharing the most up to date resources for struggling youth was truly a trial. But I am happy to share that as we approach two months of sheltering at home, the Beat the Odds program has been successfully doing the work.

Virtual workshops and open spaces hosted on zoom have become our new normal. We are able to disseminate useful skills that our scholars will use to continue their success throughout high school and college. Keeping current with college deadlines and learning better ways to manage time are some of the strategies being employed. Allowing the young people to have a safe space and find joy is also very important. Activities ranging from virtual Netflix parties to planning an end of the year celebration keep our scholars happy, while still benefiting from the program curriculum.

To be quite honest there will be a few bumps ahead that we cannot anticipate. But this pandemic will not disrupt how the Beat The Odds staff will continue to build camaraderie, shape lives, and see our scholars through high school and college. Marian Edelman said it best “Service is the rent we pay for being.  It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time”. We will continue to adapt to this new way of life, but we will not fall short of continuing this important work. It is truly a pleasure to serve, although my boots are not physically on the ground they are truly there in spirit.