Wednesday, June 25, 2014

HALO is a Hit at Operation Breakthrough!

This summer, HALO volunteers have been spending time at Operation Breakthrough on Tuesday evenings.  HALO is many of the youth's last stop of the day before they head home.  Though they have been busy with activities all day, the youth are always excited to make some art with HALO.  Often the kids get so into their projects they do not want to go home until they finish!  Last week, the youth made Confidence Crowns.  HALO volunteers brought strips of fabric and items like feathers, beads, and glitter to decorate them.  The youth were instructed to decorate the crowns in a way that symbolized specific traits they possess that make them feel confident.  Many of the youth got extra creative and turned sheets of tissue paper HALO brought into confidence capes as well!  Next week, youth will think of an aspiration they have and draw it on the sidewalks outside Operation Breakthrough with chalk.  Each youth's illustration will combine to create a Dream Mural.  HALO volunteers look forward to helping the youth realize their dreams next week!

Below are some photos of summer programming so far at Operation Breakthrough.  Be sure to check back every Wednesday for more exciting summer updates and like us on Facebook!


HALO's example of a confidence crown. She likes that she smiles, makes people feel good about themselves (gold sparkle), and has red hair. 

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This youth likes that he plays basketball and likes snakes. 

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She loved using glitter!

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Figuring out where to place her feathers. 

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This youth loved HALO's example and decided to recreate it in her own way!

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This picture was drawn at HALO's first summer workshop at Operation Breakthrough.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Paul Mitchell Professionals Instruct Cosmetology Class.

Last Thursday, the HALO Learning Center was chock-full of confidence! A Paul Mitchell Learning Leader and three Future Paul Mitchell Professionals came to the Learning Center to instruct HALO’s weekly cosmetology class. Since this was their first day, they used the time to communicate to the youth in the class what confidence means to them. First, they showed this video created by Dove. After that, each member of the Paul Mitchell team shared a personal story that illustrates the hardships they have faced in life.  These stories were inspiring to the youth in the class. After telling their personal stories, they gave the youth tips on how to stay confident in daily life. Their favorite way to stay confident is to have positive self talk.  An example of this positive self talk is thinking, "I am awesome! I will conquer this day".  The Learning Leader brought a poster that showed the connection between how thoughts influence behavior and feelings. The four also promoted the use of personal affirmations that the youth should write out and keep somewhere to look at every once and awhile. Each made sure to communicate to the youth they should be a “first rate version of themselves, not a second rate of someone else”!

Below are some great photos of the workshop. Check back every Wednesday for updates on summer workshops, and be sure to  visit and like us on Facebook!


Future Professionals explain how thoughts influence behavior and feelings.


A youth works on her positive affirmations!


Youth work on letters to themselves they will open sometime in the future. 


HALO youth cut pictures out of magazines to add to their letters.


The Paul Mitchell Learning Leader speaking about confidence to the youth. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer Activities are Starting up Again at HALO!

This week at HALO has been a busy one so far!  Improv is back for another semester.  This week at improv, HALO youth and volunteers did the "knot activity" that helped them practice how to work together, solve problems, and most importantly have fun.  Also, Whitney Manney, a local fashion designer and artist, came to the Learning Center on Tuesday to teach a weekly fashion show course.  The girls in her class practiced sewing techniques that will get them ready to make their final project- an outfit for the Fashion Show on August eighth!  HALO volunteers also went to Operation Breakthrough on Tuesday for Art and Play.  Youth made cave drawings under the tables on crumpled up sheets of paper that resembled cave walls.  This was quite a challenge and was perfect for the life skill of the month, perseverance!  Additionally, the woodworking class is starting a table project.  The finished products will be sold to raise funds for the Learning Center.  Paul Mitchell students will be coming to the Learning Center on Thursday to teach a cosmetology class.  HALO has quite a fun summer ahead of us!

Be sure to check out these awesome photos of this week's activities and check back every Wednesday to see photos from future summer workshops. Like us on Facebook and go to for more updates!

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HALO youth and volunteers doing the "knot activity" that took perseverance to get untangled. 


The beginning of the tables the woodworking class is constructing.


A touching "cave drawing" .  "Since the rain is falling the flowers are growing."

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Whitney Manney teaching Tuesday's fashion show course.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

HALO Youth Begin Art Project to be Finished by Gulu Girls' Home in Uganda!

Last week, local nursing students and educators assisted HALO youth in working on a double sided art project that they would take on their upcoming trip to HALO's Gulu Girls' Home in Uganda. HALO youth decorated one side of a pinwheel that the nursing professionals will then take on their medical mission to Uganda for the Gulu girls to finish.  The theme of the pinwheels was future goals or messages that the HALO youth wanted to tell to the girls in Uganda.  Once the Gulu girls finish the pinwheels they will send pictures back to our local youth so they can see the finished product. HALO youth were excited to be a part of HALO's international mission and to create something for our youth in Uganda!  

Check out these great photos of the first phase of the project.  To learn more about HALO's international programs go to or like us on Facebook for more updates! 


This youth's messages to the Gulu girls are "Partnership, Importance, Love and Loyalty, and Mature Each Other".


This youth made a nature-themed pinwheel.


This pinwheel says, "Create".


This pinwheel says, "Be Passionate, Find Motivation, Love, and Be Creative".


HALO youth and volunteers work on their pinwheels. 


This HALO youth wanted to teach the Gulu Girls about KU basketball. 


Colorful pinwheels!


A volunteer helps a youth put together his pinwheel. 


A finished pinwheel.