Read Time: 1:17
Let’s begin by recapping the crux of what we have been studying thus far. We are looking at what F.I.A.T.M. is. What does it mean? What is behind the thoughts of Family Is All That Matters? We’ve learned that Family is not just genetically based. Family is more of an ideology. It’s people that choose to be together because of what knits us together. Is. We had a little fun with the word is. I’ll let you go back and see for yourself. The word is is an action word. F.I.A.T.M. is definitely about taking action. We have decided not to sit back complaining about what is not right in our communities. Instead, we are taking action on meeting the needs of our youth and families. We offer a variety of ways to attract youth so that we can positively impact them.
That. That is an identifier. This makes the word that very powerful. Did you catch the wordplay I did there? For the context of this discussion one can deduce that the identifier is the purpose. Stay with me. If, or because that is the case what is the purpose of F.I.A.T.M.? Simple: Unifying Communities One Family At A Time. Look at that statement. Our sole purpose or mission if you like is to unify communities one family at a time. Not 100 families at a time. One family at a time. This means that we take the time and energy to get to know those with whom we feel entrusted to serve.
We continue to expand our services and offerings for the sole purpose of unifying communities one family at a time. We show up at local sports facilities for the sole purpose of unifying communities one family at a time. We mentor, tutor, educate and inspire our youth for the sole purpose of unifying communities one family at a time.
If you’d like to help us fulfil our purpose feel comfortable reaching out to me:
Byline: Jacqui Dobens enjoys sharing her skills and talents with others, laughing at herself and making up phrases that she calls Jacqui-isms.
Read Time: 2:03
This week we are looking into the word,ALL. Feel comfortable reviewing the previous two posts where we are taking a deep dive into the foundation of F.I.A.T.M., Family Is All That Matters. As a brief recap, we discussed the word family. Last week we talked about the word is. Yes, we did. As I shared earlier I absolutely LOVE words. It thrills me to discover and remind myself of the meaning and applications of words. I find that we as a society progress and regress simultaneously in the area of communicating thoughts with words. This is the impetus of why we are taking our time with the nexus of F.I.A.T.M.. Hopefully you are discovering that what you name something is important. With thoughtful consideration you’ll notice how synergistic the individual and collective meanings of Family Is All That Matters is with its mission.
All is a very unique and flexible word in that it is an adjective, a noun, adverb and a pronoun. A few definitions of all according to dictionary.com is: the whole of, the whole number of, the greatest possible, whatever, one’s whole interest, entirely; completely. All is a very impressive word that bridges the two words on either side (Family Is) (That Matters)! It’s the connector. Bedrock. Foundation. One of the tricks I use in understanding words is including the definition in the sentence or phrase. In this case, Family Is All (the whole number of, the greatest possible, completely, whatever, one’s whole interest) That Matters. Look at the way it takes on a whole new meaning. Rest in knowing that when decisions are being made the filter of yay or nay are sifted through our messaging: Is This Best For Our F.I.A.T.M. Family? If it passes the litmus test, you guessed it, it passes. If it’s not, it’s on the chopping block. Taking a cummulative view of the whole number served drives every decision. There are many obvious reasons why this matters (see what I did there?). First and foremost is the consistency that having a standard for arriving at decisions creates stability. Stability is important when you decide to participate in the lives of others, especially the youth. They need to know that we will be there for them. Many of which have rarely experienced that feeling of security. Secondly, our partners and sponsors need to know that we do what we say! It reinforces that they made the right decision investing in the youth via F.I.A.T.M.. It simply makes them feel good. Lastly, which may sound a little selfish, we as an organization want to feel good about ourselves. We desire to continue raising the bar on what we do, why we do what we do and how we do it.
So, the next time you’re in a conversation and the person you’re communicating with expresses that they want to give back to the community, feel comfortable giving them my email address: Jacqui@FIATMGroupInc.org. I’d love to discuss with them ways to get involved.
Next week, you guessed it we’ll be discussing the word that. Until next week, stay blessed!!!
Byline: Jacqui Dobens has many monikers. Her favorite by far is, Loud Fun Machine. Her loud and infectious laughter gives others around her permission to lighten up and have FUN!
Read Time: 1:56
Because you can refer to the previous post I won’t go too much into a recap. For contextual purposes I will share that we are diving into our driving force tagline which is, Family Is All That Matters. We covered Family our last time together. This week we’re covering is. I can see in my minds eye your proverbial eye roll. You’re wondering how on earth is Jacqui going to share anything of significance that warrants my spending my precious time reading this post? I’m so glad you’re pondering that because I promise you I have something for you. Big talk, right? I realize we’re just starting our relationship however, this will be worth your read. I’d be remiss if I don’t reference Bill Clinton’s popular grand jury quote, “It depends on what the meaning of the word is is” (https://slate.com/news-and-politics/1998/09/bill-clinton-and-the-meaning-of-is.html).
In looking up the definition of is two items stood out: 1) is is commonly identified as a verb and 2) it’s close relationship to the word be. Not one to typically promote slang or ebonics I decided not to resist so in this instance because it offers a layer of depth, I’ll indulge. I’m going to publicly ask my 12th grade English Literature teacher, Mr. Shugard to forgive me in advance. Here goes, Family Be All That Matters. When I looked up the word be, here’s what I found: to exist or live; to take place: occur, to occupy a place or position. If I stopped there you’ve received enough to justify reading the prior sentences. Now, if you’ve decided to hang in there with me it’s about to get juicy.
I LOVE that is or be in this instance is an action word. As we go a little further together I’ll be sharing with you specifically and generally the things that FIATM is achieving in local communities. F.I.A.T.M. is definitely occupying a much needed void by positively impacting one family at a time. Consider what happens to a family when a little girl that feels invisible is encouraged to participate in a mentoring session and she finds her voice. She emerges as a leader at school and a change agent. Behavior that she would have shrugged her shoulders at days and weeks prior are now met with deliberate and respectful machinations to solve and resolve untoward actions. Or the young man that was completely fine with C’s and being average aspiring and reaching A’s and A+ status. These results are commonplace with the students that F.I.A.T.M. both teaches and mentors. By the way, if you have any connections or influence with your school district, feel comfortable providing their contact information, mention F.I.A.T.M. to them and I’ll make sure they are contacted to discuss F.I.A.T.M. establishing our mentoring program to their students.
Next week we will be taking a look at the word All. If you have any questions or want to explore how you can help us help more youth, feel comfortable emailing me: Jacqui@FIATMGroupInc.org.
Byline: Jacqui Dobens is known to provide the right word at the right time, love kayaking even though she can’t swim and be the first to say hello and check in with you about how you're doing/feeling.
Read Time: 2:20
Recently the cornerstone of the F.I.A.T.M. team sat down for a podcast interview on Be Inspired Today. CEO, Kuba Brown, COO, David Layne and Advisory Board President, Yundra Thomas shared about the importance of the first word in F.I.A.T.M. which is Family. Feel comfortable taking a look at it, hitting the like button and leaving a comment.
For the sake of this conversation we’re going to take a look into an expanded definition of family as was so eloquently expressed in this interview. dictionary.com describes family as: a group of people or things that are related by common characteristics, features, or properties. Another definition that fits is: a group of people who are generally not blood relations but who share common attitudes, interests, or goals.
Family. Family is the foundation of F.I.A.T.M.. It’s in essence what makes us, well us. At F.I.A.T.M. we believe you can pick your family that are related to you by common characteristics, attitudes, interests or goals. This means that you can join our family as we unify communities one family at a time. What does that look like? What can that look like? For example, you may have heard of the disparate rumblings in the media regarding inherent tolerations of racial superiority mindsets expressed through, of all places, High School Sports (https://www.pe.com/2021/10/28/after-racism-allegations-temecula-valley-high-making-changes-at-games/) and (https://www.pe.com/2021/09/02/moreno-valley-volleyball-team-racially-harassed-targeted-with-monkey-noises-at-hemet-game/). I share this with you not to shock or polarize you, dear reader. I share this with you to convey that sometimes as a family conversations can get a little complicated. Uncomfortable. Messy. However, I’m a firm believer that on the other side of it is understanding, embracing, acceptance and ultimately at times, love.
F.I.A.T.M. has been leading the charge on initiating progressive conversations regarding race, challenging students to level up, mentoring youth, encouraging emerging talent, teaching and training technology, financial literacy, tutoring, athletic excellence and much more since before 2005 in some iteration or another. Think of the landscape of our country in 2005. In looking at Gallup polls (https://news.gallup.com/poll/1687/race-relations.aspx), a 2005 Race Relations Report (https://issuu.com/jcci/docs/05_race_relations_progress_report) and the Immigration debate (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0896920511421030). Ironically, in 2022 these same or eerily similar conversations are still being had. Albeit in many instances laced with rhetoric. F.I.A.T.M. has been stealthily meeting latent needs in response to these often overlooked topics. We are focused on positively impacting communities by infiltrating often times broken familial dynamics. That can be demonstrated by assisting a young man in obtaining his driving permit and license. Imagine. Or perhaps remember how you felt when you passed your written and driving test. Remember the sense of accomplishment? Freedom. F.I.A.T.M. is consistently in classrooms across various districts on a weekly basis ushering a safe space to express, heal and grow for the youth. Teaching our young men how to treat a young lady appropriately may seem like a no-brainer to you. However, how and when is that taught? Recently on one such school visit a group of young men were throwing rocks at several unsuspecting young ladies. Talk about a teachable moment! Fortunately, F.I.A.T.M. was on campus that day and discussed very openly how and why this behavior is not okay. These are a few examples of tangible ways that F.I.A.T.M. is impacting local communities one family at a time.
Next week we’ll be exploring the second word in our tagline, is. I’m serious. We will be discussing what the defintion of is is. If you’re old enough to know that reference, feel comfortable leaving a comment. Next Tuesday, before 10 a.m. the post will be live and ready for you to check out. In the meantime, if you are interested in joining the F.I.A.T.M. family or have questions on how to become involved, feel comfortable emailing me: Jacqui@FIATMGroupInc.org.
Byline: Jacqui Dobens is a lover of words, curious bordering nosey, published author, public speaker and recovering sassy shoe addict. She can be reached at: Jacqui@FIATMGroupInc.org.
Times are changing, the world is growing and opportunities are limitless. Families are being challenged in ways that we’ve never seen before because of our ever changing economic and social climates. Now…..more than ever before families, need to pull together and take pride in themselves, individually and as a whole, so that every member of their family can thrive. Pride is a feeling of pleasure from one’s own achievements, of those with whom you are associated and a feeling of justifiable self-respect. As a community, we need to get back to taking pride in our biological families as well as our extended family by embracing that fact that we are all different….but the same. We all have the desire to belong to something or someone, we all want to be loved and appreciated and most importantly, we all want to be proud of who we are and where we come from. Within our communities, we CANNOT be successful if we don’t recognize how important family is. Yes……you may make a lot of money or even a little bit of money but, at the end of the day, we need and want to belong to a family, however you choose to define yours. The statistics regarding divorce, single parent households and youth who are at-risk are painfully high, as a result, we need to take a look at ourselves and decide who we want be as individuals, families and a community and get to the business of being EXACTLY that!! We have to redefine ourselves, change those negative statistics and flourish as a family community!! How do we do that??? I’m so glad you asked, here are a few examples: A.) Be CONSISTENT! B.) Expose children to as many positive experiences as possible C.) Support the children and each other by showing up as much as possible because they love to see your smiling faces D.) Praise and encourage each other and the children when they do well to encourage positive behavior E.) When our loved ones are engaged in negative or inappropriate behavior, try to correct the behavior not CONDONE or make excuses for it. We need to show interest or concern in each other’s well being from the youngest to the oldest in our family and community. The older generations helped to make us who we are and the younger generation is our future. Our young people should reflect what we have taught and instilled in them. We all have busy lives and schedules but we should never be too busy to take time out and build stronger family ties. We ask you now, to take pride in your family, biological or extended by respecting yourselves as well as one another. Always talk out your differences with respect and continue to be an example to your children and those around you. It is important to act with integrity and teach our younger generation that their actions can and will bring consequences. In order for our children to grow and understand life they need to experience those consequences and our job is to help them and each other to stop making the same mistakes over and over again. United we stand and divided we fall, let’s work together to change that expression to “united we stand so that we will not fall”. When we see ours brothers and sisters down, let’s not kick them while they’re down but pick them back up instead. We need to restore our family ties and family values that have been tossed away like trash and take pride and cherish our families because at the end of each day…….. Family Is All That Matters!!