February is a month dedicated to and all about love, but not just for valentines and sweethearts. It can also be a month for self-love and self-care, fostering relationships with family and friends, and loving others.

Self-love is about intentionally taking care of yourself and who you are. It’s about getting enough rest and time to recharge your mind, body, heart and soul. When you find yourself stressed out, impatient, and irritable with others, take time out for yourself.

Also actively taking the time to focus on being your best self and focusing on your family and friends enables you to be more compassionate and giving, and to love others in a better way. Find time and ways to volunteer and help others.

The whole month of February speaks of wellness, having wisdom, loyalty, faithfulness and showing love. Great traits for a person to attain.

February is also a great time to reflect on all the people and things you love, as CTN CEO Dr. Chavez has done in her message: 

My dearest Ascender familia,

As I reflected on Valentine’s day, I remembered that family in the most fundamental way is created by love.   Love and family come together each February in celebration, so I thought that in a way February should be Ascender month– since love (carino) and family are so central to who we are as a program and organization. 

We, in Ascender, often speak of ourselves as a familia. Eva Burrows wrote, “in family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds us closer together, and the music that brings harmony.” – “Family is a group experience of love and support,” according to Marianne Williamson.  

It is that love and support which we intentionally strive to give to our students and colleagues as we face the challenges and joys of life. Family is that which we strive to be, and carino – love- is what we are intentional about trying to provide to our students in order to increase their self-esteem, empowerment, and awareness of how they can create and take responsibility for positive change for themselves, their families, and their communities.

More than ever in this era of polarization in our surroundings, it is essential that we rejoice in our familial ties as humans, and as members of our Ascender community of practice. It is incumbent upon us to celebrate our family, genetic or otherwise created, and be intentional with the showering of carino- love we give to the young minds that one day will lead our world.  Of course, we love you for being the heroes that you are in doing this work. Thank you for all you do for our familia.-Dr. Maria Chavez

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