Puente de la Costa Sur
Letter from Kerry Lobel
 
Dear friend of Puente,

These days, I awaken most mornings with the phrase from the poet and prophet, Rumi on my lips.

What will
our children do in the morning?
Will they wake with their hearts wanting to play,
the way wings
should?

Our days at Puente this summer are filled with children and youth - the smallest, literally just days old, the oldest 24. We have literally flown from trees and learned about outer space, kayaked, and canoed, swam and sung, studied Spanish, English, math and history, told and read stories, planted seeds and harvested vegetables, gardened, and prepared and served hundreds of organic breakfasts and lunches, Together, thanks to our beloved donors and volunteers and our partners at Camp Jones Gulch, Pie Ranch, SamCoast, Half Moon Bay Library, Pescadero Elementary School, San Mateo County Workforce Investment Board, Microsoft, and Region 1 Migrant Education, we have helped over 150 young people "wake with their hearts wanting to play."

With as many as six camps going on any given day, Puente is in the midst of our own great adventure. As I write this letter, 41 young people, employed by Puente this summer, are gearing up for school - some off to high school for the first time, others in the midst of it, and still others, off to college - most, the first in their families, to attend. Puente has employed many of them since June, others for four summers. Our office literally vibrates with their presence -- they are summer camp counselors, chefs, tutors, web masters, photographers, graphic designers, and painters. They are a talented group of young people and, together, they have made Puente the center of gravity for South Coast youth this summer. This was a huge accomplishment in a climate where the jobless rate for US workers aged 16 to 24 years old, has reached the highest level ever recorded since the government began tracking the data in 1947.

Now it is time to prepare these amazing youth for their dreams of flight. This summer, Puente launched its year-round youth academic and employment project. Employment at Puente is just the first step to preparing youth for vocational and academic careers. Increasing math skills, building English fluency and literacy, are the cornerstones of a program that provides training and mentoring. Walking through the process with each student and their family as they prepare for their college or a vocational career takes time, care and money. Our work is about creating a safe environment where youth and their families have the resources and support that they need to make informed decisions about their future.

As always, we can't do it without you and your financial support. We need you to tutor, to mentor, to allow a youth interested in your career choice to shadow you. We need you to be a champion for Puente. I've worked for more than 35 years with youth throughout the US and I can say without hesitation that our work at Puente is amazing.

And I'm kept going by the last phrase of that Rumi poem:

What will our children do in the morning
if they do not see us
fly?

Let's fly together.

Kerry
 
puente staff
 

puente to pie

THE WAY WINGS SHOULD  

What will
our children do in the morning?
Will they wake with their hearts wanting to play,
the way wings
should?
 
Will they have dreamed the needed flights and gathered
the strength from the planets that all
men and women need to balance
the wonderful charms of
the earth
 
so that her power and beauty does not make us forget our own?
 
I know all about the ways of the heart - how it wants to be alive.
 
Love so needs to love
that it will endure almost anything, even abuse,
just to flicker for a moment. But the sky's mouth is kind,
its song will never hurt you, for I sing those words.
 
What will our children do in the morning
if they do not see us
fly?
 
Rumi
For more information:
Pescadero, CA 94060
650.879.1691