JUNE, 2019
On Saturday, May 18th, 2019, twenty-three (23) H.E.R.O. children and a mentor attended a trampoline park outing at Get Air Trampoline Park- Stone Mountain, hosted by H.E.R.O. for Children, Inc. Upon arrival, e veryone received socks that were suited to jumping on trampolines. Soon after, the kids took off in several different directions. The park's attractions included trampoline dodgeball, trampoline basketball, and an airbag pit. The children laughed and bonded as they jumped and flipped with each other. To conclude the afternoon's events, everyone sat down for lunch. As the children ate, H.E.R.O. staff spoke with them about their experiences. Some vented about how exhausted they were, while others expressed how much fun they had. These conversations continued on their rides home.

H.E.R.O. for Children was happy to be able to provide yet another "unforgettable experience" for our children, and an opportunity for mentors to bond with their mentees. We look forward to providing additional occasions such as this in the future.
TRANSITION TO ADULTHOOD: Informational Entrepreneur Workshop
On Friday, May 31st, sixteen (16) H.E.R.O. children attended an Entrepreneurial Workshop hosted by Mr. Andy Monin, Founder and CEO of Cyrano Systems. Cyrano Systems is a company which provides a variety of virtual and video platforms for businesses to engage their clientele and/or employees. The company is located in the Georgia Institute of Technology's Advance Technology Development Center (ATDC) . The ATDC is a business incubator that provides services to assist new and startup technology entrepreneurs launch and sustain their businesses. In line with exposing our children to various career options in the field technology, Cyrano Systems and the ATDC encompassed all the components of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) that are the bases of a significant segment of future employment options worldwide.

The children's learning began even before the workshop commended, as Mr. Monin emphasized the importance of formal introductions in business settings, firm handshakes and eye contact- key soft skills needed to build relationships with potential business partners and clients. He then kicked off the workshop with the story of his humble beginnings, along with the morals and values instilled in him at an early age that guide his business operations to this day. Mr. Monin shared that in spite of the obstacles he has encountered along his path, he always made the decision to persevere. For example, his initial dream was to become a professional baseball player. He even received a baseball scholarship to attend Clemson University. However, while attending Clemson, he soon realized that his dream of becoming a professional baseball player would not come to fruition. Though he was saddened by this awareness, he refused to let it stop him from achieving success. Instead, he opened himself to new possibilities, and soon learned that he possessed particular aptitudes in the areas of sales and marketing. He has since become an incredibly successful entrepreneur, and is currently managing the third business he has created- Cyrano Systems.

Mr. Monin discussed many of the lessons he has learned on his entrepreneurial journey with our children. One that particularly resonated with them is that failure is inevitable on the road to triumph. Mr. Monin went on to state that many people have great ideas, yet once they experience a failure, they often give up. He stressed that failure comes with valuable lessons that will bring you closer to achievement. Therefore, you must never be afraid to try and never give up. Mr. Monin demonstrated these principles using an interactive game in which the children could win cash prizes of varying amounts depending upon their level of participation in increasingly demanding spelling challenges. Those who at least made attempts received more than those who didn't, and participants who correctly spelled difficult words earned more than those who tackled easier ones.

Next, Mr. Monin highlighted a series of key factors that are vital to turning "ideas into action" and building successful companies. First, in order to create a business, you must first "identify the pain and then develop a remedy." This process includes ensuring that your proposed remedy has not already been developed, weighing the pros and cons, and determining whether or not the idea is viable. Mr. Monin accentuated the value of conducting extensive research, and shared how he has spent countless hours, day and night, examining ideas for potential business concepts. Second are "The 3 F's: friends, family and fools." Mr. Monin noted that any good vision or idea requires you to sell it effectively to the "3 F's" in order to make it a reality. If it passes this test, you are cleared to proceed. Third, when identifying your team, it is important to select people you trust and with whom you have good working relationships. Mr. Monin shared that these attributes can sometimes be more important than educational background or work experience, and again emphasized the significance of soft skills. When one child asked, "How do you select your employees?", Mr. Monin used an excellent analogy of a canoe ride to deliver his point. He explained that he chooses people based on whether or not he would want to spend an extended amount of time in a canoe with them, and whether or not he could depend on them to help him arrive safely at his destination. He added that potential employees must be trainable and open to learning.

The day continued with a tour of the ATDC facility and a visit to the Cyrano Systems office, where our children were able to ask questions and see the daily operations of the company. Staff member Matt shared his path to Cyrano Systems with the children, discussing his educational background (he received his undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech) and why he chose to work for this particular enterprise. Though he had a noteworthy offer from another company, he knew that there, he would be limited to his prescribed job description. At Cyrano Systems, he is involved in many aspects of the firm, which is giving him a more rewarding, diversified and well-rounded professional experience. The day ended with a group lunch, during which our children were able to reflect on the day's session and ask additional questions. This conversation continued on their rides home.

This was an amazing experience for our children, who were fully engaged throughout the afternoon and asked a range of insightful questions during the workshop. Overall, it highlighted the message that hard work, dedication, perseverance, discipline and commitment are essential to achieving success. Mr. Monin's presentation helped inspire them to believe in themselves and internalize the idea that their possibilities are truly without limit. One child stated, "Wow! All of that (Cyrano Systems) from an idea. I need to get on it!" Another said,"You really never know what you can be if you just try and work hard." Thanks to Mr. Monin for sharing such invaluable life lessons with the children we serve. In addition, H.E.R.O. would like to say a special "Thank You!" to Mrs. Greer Monin for being instrumental in organizing this once in a lifetime event, and providing the kids with lunch and wonderful gift bags full of goodies, including Georgia Tech paraphernalia and $25.00 Chick-fil-A gift cards. Also, we would like to thank Ms. Kenzie Rowland and the staff of Cyrano Systems for their contributions to making this a memorable day for our clientele.
Twenty-five percent (25%) of H.E.R.O. children have lost parents as a result of HIV/AIDS-related complications, and ninety-percent (90%) of them come from households with annual incomes under $20,000.00. As the poverty line in Georgia, according to Georgia.gov, is currently $25,100.00 for a family of four, our children often lack basic necessities, much less enriching activities and experiences that will prepare them for successful futures. Many survive on public assistance, and few have/had parents with educations beyond high school. With limited role models or opportunities for achievement, many of our children are facing adulthoods that will perpetuate the 'cycle of poverty.' We at H.E.R.O. for Children, Inc. are committed to breaking that cycle. At this time, we are gearing up for our annual Back-to-School Bash. The Back-to-School Bash is a way for these children to get motivated for the new school year, and receive free backpacks filled with school supplies - defraying the cost of supplies the families usually cannot afford. Our parents are extremely appreciative of this opportunity as their kids begin the school year prepared and confident that they have what they need. Some parents have expressed it can take them weeks to get everything the kids need at the start of the school year.

Love Cycling? H.E.R.O. for Children, Inc. is looking for an individual to sign-up as our team captain and form a team on behalf of Camp High Five for Camp Twin Lakes' Spin for Kids. This event will take place on  Sunday, October 20th, 2019 .
What is Spin For Kids?
Taking place at Camp Twin Lakes (CTL)-Rutledge, Spin For Kids is a fully supported road bike ride that winds through the rolling hills of beautiful Morgan County, Georgia. Spin For Kids offers multiple routes for riders of all skill levels. Participants can choose from six scenic road routes: 5, 15, 27, 47, 62 or 100 miles. Each route is supported from start to finish with fully-stocked rest stops, first aid, route marshals, and bike technicians. Riders with young children can register their children to participate in free day camp while their parents are out riding. As riders return to CTL, they are invited to join in camp festivities including delicious food, beer, live entertainment and a chance to explore Camp. All adult riders pay a small registration fee ($5-$45) and commit to raising at least $200. Children under 18 who would like to ride are not required to fundraise and pay just $5-$15 to register.
How can Spin For Kids help H.E.R.O.?
Spin For Kids provides a unique opportunity for Camp Partners to raise money to offset our 2020 camp costs. 80% of the money raised by our team goes directly back to our camp program, and the other 20% helps CTL support you! Last year, Camp Partners raised over $48,000!
To sign-on as our team captain, please email our Match and Development Coordinator at nadia@heroforchildren.org or call (470) 321-3102 EXT. 248.

The Super HEROes Mentoring Program  is a community-based, one-on-one mentoring program serving children infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. The program provides these children with the opportunity to have a positive role model through a mentor and to strengthen their life skills, self-esteem, communication skills, goal-setting and academic performance.

Why HERO children need mentors? 

Approximately 33% of HERO children are HIV positive and the other 67% are affected (i.e. someone who has an infected parent, sibling, residential relative, or has lost a relative to HIV/AIDS-related complications). Twenty-five percent (25%) of HERO children have lost a parent as a result of HIV/AIDS-related complications, and almost 90% of HERO children come from low-income families (household incomes are $15,000/year or less).

Our children struggle with day-to-day challenges including low self-esteem, social difficulties, academic underachievement, self-destructive behavior, etc. You can help change this!

Responsibilities of a Super HERO Mentor:
  • Spend one-on-one quality time with a child at least twice a month, a minimum of two hours each time.
  • Participate with the child in a bi-monthly group activity organized and sponsored by H.E.R.O. for Children.
  • Be a positive role model for the child.
  • Contribute to strengthening the child's self-esteem, social adjustment and life skills.
Eligibility Requirements:
  • Be at least 22 years of age.
  • Be willing and available to comply with H.E.R.O. for Children's policies and procedures.*
  • Have dependable automobile transportation, maintain a valid driver's license, verifiable automobile insurance and abide by Georgia vehicle codes (i.e. seat belts, speed limits, etc.).
  • Must have a suitable home environment.
  • Pass background checks, including motor vehicle record, sex offender registry, national criminal background screening and social security verification, prior to serving.
*  Training and continuing education provided.

Friday, June 28th, 2019 | Atlanta, GA

Saturday, August 3rd, 2019 | 12 PM - 3 PM | Norcross, GA
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