Pandemic or no pandemic, raising our kids is no easy feat. Many of us might even be going at it alone, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are tons of dedicated organizations and individuals willing and ready to help shape the minds and hearts of our tweens, teens, and young adults. These individuals are coaches, mentors, facilitators and more. What’s more is that the groups listed here are bringing innovative approaches to continue programming in the era of COVID.
As moms, we always want the best for our kids. We want to develop them wholly and deeply, so that they’ll bloom into well-rounded young adults. Social pressures, environmental factors, stress, are just some of the reasons kids need an outlet. Add to that the pandemic, and our kids are all experiencing something indescribable. However, the great thing about getting involved in something is that it allows our kids to explore, learn, and grow in so many areas. Traditional sports are wonderful, but I’ve curated some ideas that I hope will bring your child closer to discovering their passions and internal gifts.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas Ages: 5-16 Mentors: 18+
The benefits of a mentoring program are too vast to list here, so I took some words from Mr. Denzel Washington, “Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.”
CC Ballroom by the Bay Ages: All
Angela and her team offer dance classes of all kinds like ballroom dancing, ballet, hip-hop, jazz, and more. Moreover, we’re in Texas ya’ll! They even have the know-how to teach the two-step, quite possibly one of the best skills a young gentleman should know. When I discovered they even offer a “pay what you can” class, my budget-minded momma brain was just blown away.
Discover Entrepreneurship at Desert Flower Ages: 12+ & All for Plant Activities
This incredible shop, run by two sisters and Lulu, the endangered Brazilian black spider monkey, provides space for middle school and high school students to develop their own brand name and products to sell in the store. Teens can raise their own money for their extracurricular activities or their future endeavors. From earrings, to candles, to other trinkets, the sky’s the limit on creativity and obtaining business skills now!
Duke it out Boxing Ages: 7+
The non-profit program launched into the community in 2018, has blazed a path for their participants. In addition to gaining boxing skills, program participants are involved in giving back to the community through volunteer projects. The program truly focuses on providing an environment for self discipline, respect, trust, and self-esteem building.
NLCC — US Naval Sea Cadet Corps Ages: NLCC: 10-13 & NSCC: 14-17When I first met this group, I was super excited to find that tweens and teens were able to train aboard the U.S.S Lexington. After a program pause, the ship is back up and running so to speak, with monthly drill sessions. Not only can your kids gain seamanship and leadership skills, there are bookoos of other benefits too, both tangible & intangible. This momma gets giddy when I find gems like this about the benefits! Chart the course to life in the U.S Navy or simply reap the benefits military training provides.
OMA Martial Arts in Aransas Pass Ages: 3+
This non-profit program is very intentional about empowering individuals & youth while also eliminating bullying through a broad range of martial arts programs. The dojo is in Aransas Pass, but participants from all over Portland & Ingleside and beyond are welcome!
Peace of Mind Kids Yoga Ages: All
In addition to mindfulness, this studio incorporates storytelling, imagination, glow-in-the-dark events, and more. As a momducator okay I don’t think that term is going to take off. As a teacher-mom, I can’t say enough on the importance of building coping skills. Intertwined with the physical benefits, you will find meditation, trust-building, and breathing techniques. I was in-love with the studio’s adaptability, offering small groups by request and even family sessions.
Volunteering at the Gulf Coast Humane Society Ages: 8-13 (restrictions); 14+
Giving back and making a positive impact in our community is a value I know many parents can get on board with. What’s more is that kids tend to have a heart for animals. And all the while, lessons on responsibility, compassion, and reliability are being instilled.
Youth Odyssey Ages: 10-17 Volunteers: 18+
There’s nothing quite like the great outdoors. This program is jam-packed with adventures in kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, camping and more. Kids are like sponges, so they will absorb all the skills that are embedded in the program like communicating, teamwork, solving problems, and setting goals. I love the fact that there’s even a family program, although their newest virtual programs are seriously helping kids thrive.
Youth – Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend Ages: 16-24
A momma’s job to provide guidance surely doesn’t end at eighteen. There are lots of tools here for the mommas who are helping, pushing, or trying to steer their young adult “kids.” Like me, I just want to propel my daughter onto the right path. The Youth Opportunities Unlimited Program offers guidance on in-demand careers and is designed to immerse teens and young adults into the world of work.
Mommas, do you know of a unique program in the Coastal Bend for our tweens, teens, and young adults? Tell us about it in the comments!