Assets In Action: Find empathy and help custodian in need

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

Welcome to February and the Asset category of Social Competencies.
This category includes Assets 32 through 36 and is defined as follows;
32. Planning and decision making — Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
33. Interpersonal competence — Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
34. Cultural competence — Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
35. Resistance skills — Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
36. Peaceful conflict resolution — Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.
If you don’t mind, I’ll put No. 32 on hold for this week, lack of planning on my part, and jump to No. 33, Interpersonal competence.
For our focus this week, I’d like to highlight having empathy and sensitivity.
During the course of the last week, I learned that one of our Los Alamos High School custodians lost his home in a fire on Jan. 15.
While Tony Romero and his son were asleep, their house caught on fire and they escaped with just the clothes on their backs.
Hopefully you know my fondness for custodians, the keepers of the house. The hard workers that don’t get celebrated as often as they should.
Well, Romero is not just a custodian, but has worked for Los Alamos Public Schools, going on his 35th year.
According to my memory, he was a custodian at LAHS for 17 years, transferred to Chamisa Elementary for 17 years, then recently returned to LAHS to round out his career.
You see, Romero was set to retire after this school year, a plan that at least for now, is nowhere in the plans.
Chamisa Elementary and Los Alamos High School offices have donation collection jars to help Romero and son Jesse, who have spent some time in a hotel, as insurance items are worked out.
If you have a $1, or $5, or even the change in your pocket, in this case, it really will make a big difference. If those two locations aren’t on your route, but you’d like to help, donations can be sent to LAHS Prevention Office, 1300 Diamond Drive Los Alamos, NM 87544.
Thanks in advance from Tony and Jesse and I’ll keep you posted on how they’re doing.

Assets In Action is a program of the JJAB and the LACDC.