Imprinting Respect

At the HALO Learning Center, youth practice a different life skill each month through creative projects. A quote about our monthly life skill is posted for the youth to see, to start a discussion at the beginning of each workshop.  We ask them to give a definition, or in some cases an example of this skill in their own life. We then share the quote to serve as a real life reminder or idea of how to use this skill.

This month’s powerful quote inspired one of our workshops:

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what one another has to say.” -Bryan McGill

As respect is July’s life skill, program facilitator Aubony Chalfant, wanted to build off of this quote to create an artistic outlet for our youth that they would both enjoy and learn from.

The project was labeled “Imprinting Respect” because HALO youth were invited to be tattoo artists for the day! To go along with our respect quote, youth discussed how tattoo artists practice active listening in their profession. These artists really have to understand an individual’s vision for the art they want on their body because tattoos have a lot of meaning. Our workshop took this example of tattoos as a way for our youth to think about something that is important to them.

Youth were asked to pair up, and take the time to fully listen to a peer talk about something that means a lot to them, something they would potentially want tattooed on their body. This could be a word, symbol, or picture that represents a significant aspect of their life. The challenge was to be fully engaged in listening about the other person’s passion, and practice both empathetic listening and respect for others during this workshop.

Youth sketched out a draft of the tattoo idea described by their partner, and then grabbed some washable crayola markers and began tattooing! Upon completion, the partners switched roles and went through the process again, listening respectfully and treating each other with care while drawing their ideas on one another.

One youth chose her tattoo as the house tied to balloons from the Disney movie UP because it reminded her of her best friend and to always keep going even though things are challenging or even if things look hopeless.

Another picked a cross on his forearm because of his strong faith. Many of them just wanted the words love written on them.

Ultimately this workshop helped our youth to both visualize and put words to something in their life that inspires or encourages them. They also learned the power of honest, engaged listening as a form of respect.

Want to get involved? Join our next Volunteer Orientation on August 22nd at 5:30 p.m. Details here.