Training and Development Process
The Kitchen Table: Benchmark 5th thru 8th Grades

Discovery Stage: Benchmark 9th and 10th Grades

Skill Training Stage: Benchmark 11th Grade

Internship Stage: Benchmark 12th Grade 
 
Maintenance Stage: Post High School
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The Kitchen Table is a collaborative urban/suburban comprehensive youth life training initiative here at the club. My desire while on the back nine of life is to begin playing a training role in these lives. I feel akin to these kids in many ways. I too grew up fearful of being laughed at or being made to feel stupid for something I said or did. To understand and feel these youth inside of me doesn't require me being African-American or Hispanic. It just required me to get rigorously honest about myself and obtaining a humility I never had while I was covering up with a superiority complex driven by my fear. It is the desire of my heart to help these kids through the experience, strength and hope I have gained and train them to discover their giftedness and abilities and how to apply them to become prosperous contributors to society and serve the purpose God created them uniquely for. Of equal importance will be the training of how to give back moving from "Takers" to "Givers.”

Those kids in the suburbs don’t get a pass here. Many of them have grown up in an alternate reality of entitlement and most can wait to be sprung from the nest. They’ve grown up in big houses with overachieving part-time parents trying to fill a void while chasing an ideal they’ll never catch. They also put part of that ideal on their children’s backs as they leave the nest with no idea of “who” they are. They are then indoctrinated with radical views by another team of surrogate parents who ignites an misplaced anger and hatred which has been acutely manifested and turns it chronic.

At one time, the kitchen table was the gathering place for family and friends. The kitchen table was where homework was done, cooking was learned, discussions were held, and it was the place where “the learnin” took place.  In most homes today the kitchen table has been replaced by a fast food island where we grab something quick and run from task-to-task through our microwaveable lives yet never seeming to get it all done.

At The Kitchen Table life’s basics are communicated in terms usually related to the youth’s area of giftedness. Coaching these youth by relating their God-given gifts to their giftedness makes it possible for them to visualize “their” life goals and dreams. Relating the competition in sport to the challenges of life trains them to “respond” in a manner they can relate to for the challenges life will send their way. Our motto, “If You Do What Most Won’t – You Will Enjoy What Most Never Will” is especially valuable since learning to take responsibility and play life on life’s terms, straight down the middle without excuses, cheating or mastering spin, will give them the winning edge in the game of life.

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