Mancelona High School
PO Box 739, 9300 W. Limits
Mancelona, MI 49659
231-587-8551 Fax: 231-587-5401
To Whom It May Concern:
I introduce Jim Tuman to you as a resource for school and community members who wish to bring a message of caring and hope to young people. We were fortunate to have Jim with us for three days during winter, 2007.
I recommend the format Jim encouraged as an ideal model for creating momentum within a school and community. Our time together began with a forum intended to provide thoughtful and involved adults and opportunity to share their concerns and hopes for young people in our area. We focused first on the positive aspects of life in our community, especially those things that affect students. Jim urged us to begin our work from a position of strength, highlighting and publicizing the "good stuff" that happens in Mancelona. We will soon be hoisting a banner proclaiming that our community loves, supports, and values its young people. Jim urged us to make that bold statement, publicly, in the heart of our little downtown.
Subsequent sessions with Jim placed him face to face with students. First, he conducted a school assembly for middle and high schoolers. Jim's speech was intense; he drew from his long and rich experiences as a worldwide advocate for youth at risk. Students responded favorably to Jim's message, including his compelling invitation to counter inhumane behaviors with kindness and compassion. An evening session for parents and students followed the afternoon assembly. That session provided opportunities for parents and students to role-play, with Jim giving participants a glimpse of the dynamics that often characterize adult/adolescent relationships. I am not sure I know who gained the most from that exchange Ð the students or the adults.
Our final hours with Jim gave students, school folks, parents, and community members time to reflect collectively on the theme of Jim's work -- helping every young person here connect in a meaningful way to another caring person. Jim's passion was apparent in every phone call we exchanged prior to his visit to Mancelona, and his enthusiasm never waned while he was here. In the months since his visit, a group of people continues to engage with youth -- often one at a time -- to care for the kids who so desperately need our very best efforts. If you are looking for someone to help mobilize such an effort in your school community, please consider Jim Tuman.
Laura Powers, Counselor
Grant Public Schools Notre Dame Prep
Northern Highlands High School Holly High School
Lakeland High School Portage Public Schools Portage Central High School
Real Life Heroes The Leadership Initiative Robert Humphrey
Kimie Ueoka Chase Petroelje Plainview-Old Bethpage High School
Dustin Peltz Boyne City Public Schools JFK High School
Lowcountry Graduate Center Mancelona High School Email Letter
Mancelona Schools Zeeland West High School Rogers City Schools
Royal Oak High School Vicksburg High School Walkerville Public Schools