In A Nutshell:
Domus’ programs include state charter schools, a community center, after-school programs, residential programs for homeless youth, a free citywide summer camp, and other programs that engage disconnected youth.
Why They Rock:
o Trailblazers Academy (middle school): for students who have not been successful in regular school environments and need a different learning environment to reach their full potential.
o Stamford High School: for students who struggled in traditional school environments or had dropped out of school.
o Domus Academy (middle school): serving students who have been unsuccessful in a traditional school environment (similar to Trailblazers – located in New Haven).
- The Trafigura Work & Learn Business Center: a youth employment program comprised of several youth-run businesses who work alongside professionals. Businesses include bike repair, small engine repair, and woodworking; likely expansions include culinary arts, boatbuilding, and green jobs.
- Chester Addison Community Center: provides programming seven days a week for children aged 5 and older; Lion’s Den: after-school program for middle school students.
- Domus House & Passages: Housing for abused, neglected, and abandoned young men. The program is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help youth learn valuable and practical life skills, while educational advocates work with them on graduating on time and on grade level.
- Domus Vision: No child shall be denied hope, love, or a fair chance in life. Through loving and trusting relationships with caring adults, their youth learn tangible and intangible skills that enable them to become competent, caring citizens who are connected with, and give back to, their community.
I use the word dominate to describe things/people that are astonishing…and Domus is a living synonym for dominate: multiple schools, after-school programs, employment programs, housing support…the variety and reach is amazing; although what gives them domination status is their commitment to motivate kids, teenagers, and adults to reach their FULL potential…giving up is not an option!
My contact Julia was on fire (on point, the bomb, excellent – for my mom)…she crafted a FULL day, and even in that time-frame I wasn’t able to experience all the greatness of Domus. We gathered in the Trailblazers (middle school) cafeteria where they kick-off every day with their Pledge (positive morals to live by), breakfast for the kids (super smart since most kids skip this meal), and an inspiration speech from a Guest Speaker.
Off with laid-back/rookie teacher Brian for a presentation on 50Give & affirmations …intelligent and funny questions arose about the trip from seventh graders – did you have to flee the border patrol in Mexico…yes, it was just cactus! Onward to the Library with well-dressed Chris for catalog categorization…remember those secret numbers and letters – it’s like a mix of Sanskrit, Hieroglyphics, and Harry Potter code. Then I had the privilege to assist in reading comprehension with Jamie and the star of Domus, Eli – a black Labrador certified in dog therapy…the kids were at total ease with him and read aloud with confidence. Out of the library and into the cafeteria to serve lunch with kitchen leader Dawn…one or two meatballs!?
The afternoon arrived and I displayed my soccer clinic skills for the first time on the tour with Lion’s Den (after-school program) under the superb leadership of Glen and Eric…we did speed drills, skill moves, and shooting on me – point blank shoots provided them excitement while I was praying for Tiger Wood shanks (post scandal)! Zoooom, off to the Chester Addison Community Center for another soccer clinic (tinier kids), and I received a professional tour of the facility form a nine-year-old with assistance of Mike, the gracious Director of Chester…what a cool way to empower kids with real responsibilities of an adult!
Connecticut hospitality was sushi-rrific…my brother’s friend Justin and fiancé Lucy treated me to a zen-chill dinner at Kazu in Norwalk, and provided a mellow room surrounded by extraordinary art from around the globe (Lucy’s grandma was an art collector – Chagall > Steven Seagal). Also enjoyed a refreshing run at Cove Park Island Park followed by an intimate evening at Starbucks (third home after my Honda Element) with an Italian Meet-Up group chatting away…ciao bella!
Domus is located in Stamford, Connecticut which is home to one of the most influential banking centers in the world…now Domus might not produce the next star for the Royal Bank of Scotland, although they are producing souls FULL of confidence helping them reach their FULL potential.
Domus Photos (Picasa):
“Decide while others are delaying. Prepare while others are daydreaming. Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing. Save while others are wasting. Listen while others are talking. Smile while others are frowning. Commend while others are criticizing. Persist while others are quitting.” – William Arthur Ward