CREATING PATHWAYS FOR CHILDREN & YOUTH TO FLOURISH
Wildflowers, Weather, and Getting Outside
I had forgotten about the wildflowers of Southern California. When our kids were little, every year we would scatter wildflower seeds on the slope that led to the canyon behind our house in Dana Point. When the poppies had finished their performance, we would collect the pods and dry them out to scatter the seeds again for another beautiful spring. So, last week, when my friend "G" left me a video message with stunning views of thousands of poppies out near Lancaster, with an exuberant shout, "The poppies are poppin'!" I knew we had to visit the Poppy Reserve on our way up to the Eastern Sierras for Spring Break. The flowers on display all around the land on which we live are more brilliant than any show of flowers I have ever seen.
For the Santa Barbara community, it has been an exuberant embrace of this year's "super bloom," an exceptionally dazzling display of wildflowers coloring usually barren hillsides and desert valleys. The Instagram selfies in poppy fields, the pilgrimages to find the rare ghost flower, represents the latest iteration of traditions that date back to the 19th century when thousands of hikers would make their way to the foothills every weekend.
We love to hike in Santa Barbara. There are multitudes of trails that I had ignored when I was in college with an imagination for not much more than ocean waves and snowy mountain runs. The truth is that this is an outdoor wonderland, and it's important to understand the centrality of Californians' relationship with the outdoors. To discuss the weather is not to make small talk, but a reality that shapes our lifestyles. Only after one spends years of reading history can one appreciate the extent to which the natural world has always been intrinsic to California's identity.
In the past month, I have taken on some writing projects. One is a dissertation that focuses on social entrepreneurship and the innovation of new initiatives. The other is a series of booklets that focus on the spiritual teachings of Henri Nouwen, one of the most beloved spiritual writers of our time. It would seem that with these projects, on top of the networking and our philanthropy, that there would be little room in the schedule to spend outside. But for me, I have recognized that when I go for a hike or a walk, away from my digital technology, I find both healing and clarity in the presence of God.
The new life of spring is all around us, and the dawn of the Resurrection is around the corner. This year's "super bloom" is God's way of reminding us that he is alive and loves to dazzle us with his presence.
~ Chris Pritchett
Pathways Program Update
"Pathways" is the name of a program that we are currently developing. We are excited about this program and wanted to share a bit about it with you and let you know what we're up to. Pathways will be an after-school program that teaches students how to run micro-businesses of their own. Students who participate will be placed on a team and paired with product mentors and business mentors. Students will learn how to create salable products and learn how to run their businesses. Students will be able to earn money from their businesses and products. We will also offer 360-degree services for students to address the other needs in their lives which could include tutoring, mental health, family, or other life issues.
Pathways will be for kids who are not excelling in the school system. We believe that teaching business and entrepreneurship to students will give them a vision for what their lives could be and a plan to help get them on a path that will help them to flourish.
This program will require a space that we can use to create a storefront to sell student-made products and space for product creation, tutoring, and other services the program will offer. We have identified a great space in downtown Carpinteria which would serve our needs exceptionally well. We are working with the owner and developer of the property on a potential lease. There are of course many variables in this type of deal, and we would appreciate your prayers as we move forward.
We are praying and working towards a Pathways launch in the fall of 2019.
Articles From Our Website
We've been writing quite a bit on our website and here are few highlighted articles we think are worth reading. They give theological reflection to our mission and how we are trying to live t
Theological Reflection on Strategic Partnerships
Most family foundations focus either on granting funds to other organizations who are doing the groundwork or doing the work as a nonprofit with the need to raise outside funds for their programs.
Our foundation is different.
Christian theology teaches us that the greatest blessing of God is to be in fellowship with humankind. But what a burden we can be! The cross was the greatest burden one could bear (taking on the Sin of the world) which gave us the greatest blessing one could receive (salvation).