The Soultown! Volume III: Issue 10 OCTOBER 2019 - Page 17

EXCLUSIVE From left, Chillin, Ruby and Maribel photos are taken as they enter the Disneyland Park. The McNeil Family Clubhouse in Menlo Park (MP), The Moldaw-Zaffaroni Clubhouse in East Palo Alto (EPA) and The Mervin G. Morris Clubhouse in Redwood City (RC), California are where the friendship of a group of coworkers, Maribel, Ruby, and Chillin began. More than 10 years ago, Maribel was the Middle School Director and Ruby was the High School Director, both worked at the Menlo Park site. Chillin was serving as the Intel Computer Clubhouse Director at the EPA site. They call themselves the GGs, meaning the Golden Girls. These women are significantly older than the traditional age of newcomers to the organization. Their hobbies are different from one another, as well as their nationalities; Ruby is Polynesian, Maribel is Latina and Chillin is African American. Many times a year, there are trainings, collaborative events, and celebrations that unify the clubs. These commemorative events are where the women often worked together. The work they do at BGCP has played an important role in growing their friendship. “We model the same kind of friendship we hope to see in the members. However, it wasn’t until Ruby helped me to see my view on where I’d meet new friends had to change,” says Chillin’. “Her reaction to a comment -- ‘I didn’t come to California to make friends’ -- helped me realize the error in my words. Actually, what I meant was that I was single-focused Disneyland Photos when I relocated to California on my career, and not personal friendships.” “I believe working at BGCP makes it easy to form strong friendships because of the nature of work we do,” Ruby shares, “Maribel and I have spent a lot of time together both in and outside of work. Chillin and I became close by working the collaborative events. One day we invited her to join us for dinner that later led into some off-site adventures. We love and appreciate that we all come from various cultural backgrounds and we learned so much about each other.” YOLO is the acronym of the phrase “you only live once”. Along the same lines as the Latin “carpe diem” (“seize the day”), it is a call to live life to its fullest extent, even embracing behavior which carries an inherent risk. Research supports that taking a trip with friends can actually improve your mental health and long-term happiness, so in the spirit of YOLO, the GGs have planned annual excursions that are fun, but also very adventurous and risky. They have packed their bags and got away -- for sanity’s sake. The most recent was a trip to Disneyland. Celebrating Ruby’s birthday and Chillin’s 50th birthday, Maribel spontaneously planned the road trip to never be forgotten. Maribel gassed up her vehicle, Ruby purchased the tickets, and Chillin JUMP TO PAGE 20 Courtesy Photo The GGs pose for a picture at the Bulls game in Chicago, at the United Center. Photo by Chillin Maribel and Ruby leaves Mickey Mouse at home to greet his guests and take a spin in his car. Oct. 2019 • The Soultown International Magazine • Celebrating 2 years • Connecting Our Cultures to Our Cyber & Conscious Communities • thesoultown.com 17