…what is possible? In Five Weeks? With months of being isolated, restricted, confined to video as your closest friend – and having a small window of reprieve?
Sometimes the best way to tell you, is to SHOW you. Tonight, it was difficult to explain the emotions and proud of feelings of hearing and seeing students go out of their comfort zone and step into wet bogs, forests, streams, dark woods, insect-filled areas, and the students that could not attend events because they were the primary caregiver of their family and they STILL, from HOME, contributed to the overall task from that same, same environment that had been bearing down on them for months of the year?
“Mr. Brake, I have never been beyond this corner in Seaford?”
“Wait, you have never, ever walked past this corner onto Main Street of Seaford, ever?”
“No! – this is amazing!” – as we were sitting in a restaurant, I pondered how much what many would consider a basic meal, meant to this student, and being on a part of the street they have NEVER been until now, never having seen anything past a specific corner of Seaford? EVER?- This struck me deep and I felt pretty sure, if one person, every person in a community like Seaford, would show any young person that had never had the basic experiences that most take for granted every day – how many more dreamers, creators, and innovators would we have in our community that would take the town by storm and recreate itself?
Unless there is the belief from the leaders, public figures, and a majority of community members in youth, many youth that feel they do not have anything to offer and – poof! an open window appears where they feel things they have never felt, been places they never felt they had the right or way to find – then their lives changing change each of ours.
I am so proud of the risks these students from Math and Science that decided to do a work study that they did not even know if they would be able to take on due to COVID, let alone LOSING THEIR FIRST TWO WEEKS due to rain, and yet, they persevered and showed they had a courage that many will never realize. Without the Math & Science and Classic Upward Bound Programs, in this small window, this would have never happened.
I am hoping others will see what is possible when youth are pushed to the forefront and their dreams become part of our own for the community we live in.
And what about the amazing state employees that believed in these youth and showed up for them to lead them through discoveries that they never thought they would see?
Heroes are among us, and I hope these students will find more.
Five Weeks and here as well as a pdf: