The first two weeks of Cloud & Fire YouthBuild are called “Mental Toughness.” This is when students have a chance to experience the YouthBuild program first-hand, and staff can see which students are really serious about being in YouthBuild. Mental Toughness is fun, but it can be challenging, too. This year, students are experiencing Cloud & Fire Crossfit with lead teacher Carlos Gomez.
During Mental Toughness, team-building exercises help create new friendships. Youth attend a series of workshops and experience every faculty member and get to know their style of teaching. The teachers engage in a lot of fun and crazy things, too. For instance, almost every teacher has their version of the “name game,” where students have to learn one another’s name and repeat them to hand gestures or dance moves. This is always popular and helps students and faculty remember names all year long.
The reason this two-week orientation is called “Mental Toughness” is because it can be challenging for many students. Cloud & Fire staff believe that the best program design for youth who have been out of school is a program that offers structure and discipline, while also providing a positive, caring environment. Youth who have been out of school might not want to get up on time or come to class every day, but Cloud & Fire YouthBuild requires students to make a high level of commitment in order to enter and remain in the YouthBuild program. In the long run, it really pays off, because youth really become familiar with the things that will be required of them when they go to work later on in life.