The JJs List Blog

Reigniting Friendships at Ignite

Posted by on May 28, 2021 - 0 Comments

Everyone is excited to begin getting back to a pre-pandemic “normalcy” after a long, arduous year of quarantine. When Ignite Evanston reopened its doors to participants just a few weeks ago in mid-May, there were smiles all around. The staff was excited to welcome old friends and new ones to the program, and participants were excited to return, despite a few restrictions still in place.

JJ’s List sat down with both the staff and participants to ask about their feelings on returning to in-person programming. Read more below:

What are you most excited about returning to Ignite?

Tina Z with Jimmy and Nazim

Nazim:I am excited to meet new people.”


Jimmy:I am new to Ignite. I like it here. I am looking forward to going out and taking the train downtown.”


Pam: Taking walks for exercise and being with friends and learning Japanese on my phone during breaks.”


Maria: “Hanging out with friends.”


Henry: “It’s good to see old friends.”


Katy: “I like being around my friends face-to-face.”


John: “Seeing my friends and getting out of the house.”


Amanda:Having everyone back here in person.”


Tina: Seeing and interacting with people in person.”


Martina:Seeing people face-to-face and communicating with them and seeing their expressions.”


Amanda B, Pam, Martina C, Maria, John, Erich, Tina Z, and Katy

What did you miss the most?

Nazim: “Outings in the community and riding trains.”


Jimmy:I missed playing sports with my friends.”


Brian:Using the computer.”


Pam: “Being around people; cooking and eating with the group.”


John: “Going on outings.”


Maria: “Learning new things and watching the news.”


Henry: My friends.”


Amanda:Going on outings, especially to coffee shops, because there are always good conversations there.”


Tina: “Art is a very physical experience, so I missed seeing how people handle art materials in person.”


Martina: “I missed being able to provide the services that we are now able to do again. For example, being able to lead a film-making or a team-building class. Now we can be more hands-on.”


How are things different?


Pam: “A lot is different: only one person is allowed in the kitchen at a time and the bathroom has to be cleaned each time someone uses it.”


Maria: “We have to wear masks”


Katy: “I am new to Ignite. The group is small, which I like.”


Amanda: Because of Covid restrictions, we have to separate the Ignite participants into two groups, so not everyone is together on the same days.”


Tina: “The dynamic is different because of the group configurations.”


Martina: “Just the social distancing.”

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