Fr. Dave's Notes
How Does Casa Romero Measure Success?
Let me tell you a story.
The other night, I had supper at my house with a young man who six or seven years ago was a team facilitator for Casa Romero’s boys program.
“Rogelio” was a confused, dispirited and an academically low performing high school junior when he came to Casa. And in all honesty, he only came because his girlfriend dragged him in. “If you are not doing anything, come with me,” she said. For a while, Rogelio was a very shy and barely visible presence around Casa. Then he was invited to take part in our Knight’s Quest retreat series. He loved it and caught fire for working with youth. He began to see himself in a new and positive light. He began looking towards the future. He began with his grades which became respectable by the end of his senior year. He got into a local community college after graduation.
One day, he came into my office and said, “Father, I have an idea.” Then he told me his story:
All my life, I wanted to be a professional soccer player. It was my passion. It was my dream. And I was a good soccer player. Then one day, when I was a junior, the coach called me into his office and said, “Rogelio, you have had one too many concussions. It is too dangerous for you to continue playing soccer. You have to leave the team.” I was crushed. My world disappeared. Where to go, what to do? I saw nothing in my future. Coming to Casa and getting involved with the youth has really changed my outlook. I began to see life differently.
Father, there are a lot of Latino kids just like me out there. They all want to play soccer and they aren’t thinking ahead. Only very few boys get to the professional ranks. So here is my idea: Why doesn’t Casa have a soccer camp and in between the soccer stuff, do some exercises from Sean Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effectively Teens? These are really good kids but no one is telling them the real story.
That is where Casa Romero’s Soccer Camps come from – from a young man who saw a different way and moved himself to share it. We started with one week-long camp and by the third year, we needed to add a second camp.
After a couple years at the community college, Rogelio went on the finish his college years at a nearby four-year university.
At supper, Rogelio said that he had been accepted into a Texas university to pursue graduate studies in psychology. He plans on doing PhD work.
So how does Casa Romero measure success?
Casa Romero counts success one person at a time. Casa Romero offers a safe place to dream, adult and peer mentors to support the dreamer, and rejoices when our youth takes flight.
Your support underwrites and makes stories like Rogelio possible. Thank you very much for your support.