Congratulations to the 4 amazing parents who completed the Parent Journey group, a weekly, four month long group for parents at StreetSquash. Special thanks to Ren Murrell, mother of Ryan, ’19 and Raya, ’21 who helped facilitate and took a leadership role this time around after completing the Journey group in Fall ’14. Other graduates include Shawn Thomas, mother of Tiasa ’15, Sandra Gonzalez, mother of Xai ’20 and Kiomara Vasquez, mother of Benito ’19.
-Sasha, Director of Social Work
A special Q & A with Ren:
Why did you decide to participate in Parent Journey for a second time?
I decided to participate in Parent Journey for the second time, because it became my sanctuary. Being a mom of four kids and a grandson is very overwhelming. I live a very hectic life, but there was nothing or anyone that was going to prevent me for attending Parent Journey every Thursday.
How did this experience differ from your first time?
The first time I joined Parent Journey I did not know what to expect coming in. I was surrounded around a bunch a knowledgeable parents that shared stories about themselves and their family. It was a pleasure being around adults for a change and be able to be yourself. The second time I joined Parent Journey was my favorite. Not only did I meet new parents but I was reunited with a parent that I went to Junior High School with. Now that we are both parents we were able to share insights about our family and about ourselves. This journey was the most amazing journey that I have been through. As parents we are supposed to be strong, but in Parent Journey we were able to let our guard down and share stories that we would have never shared before. The comfort to know that you are not alone in this world made Parent Journey so rewarding.
What was something you learned about yourself or being a parent that you could share with other parents?
I learned that I need to take time out for myself. I really do not put myself first at all. Being a single parent I compensate for the absent parent leaving myself no time for me to breathe. I know that it is going to be hard to take time out for me but me willing to make an effort one day at a time.
What is your favorite memory from Parent Journey?
My favorite memory in parent journey is when I got to hear what Sasha thought about me. I never once thought I was all things that she spoke about me. It feels like I am on a rollercoaster and I can’t get off but her words made the rollercoaster slow down so I can hear her words of appreciation about me. During graduation my two children Ryan and Raya approached me with words that wrote down on a piece a paper recognizing how they feel about me. As they crumbled by the paper and spoke for their heart gave me chills knowing that I made an impact in their life. To me I was just their mom, to them I was their role model.
I recommend all parents to join Parent Journey I joined twice and is willing to sign up for a third time. You will not be disappointed in what you can learn about yourself in this group. The end result of joining Parent Journey is taking time out for yourself.