To say that this past year was trying, exhausting, challenging, maddening, enraging, many times discouraging is an understatement. I oftentimes doubted my determination to continue what I began when I set out to introduce Study Abroad to the students at HSFI.
There were many understandable obstacles that made me rethink my efforts and energy invested in this part of our non-profit. I thought, why is this so hard? why are there roadblocks to what is a positively outstanding experience for NYC students of color of a Title IX school?
And then I remembered every single challenge, every struggle presented in my life whether it felt like the world was crashing around me or halted my momentary progress was overcome by two things that are more important than determination, FAITH and FRIENDS.
This past year tested my sanity, tested my faith and like Sir Elton John sings, ‘I’m still standing’. Could I have done it alone? I know I could have. I have in the past therefore there is without a doubt evidence that I can, but that Rosa is no longer here. Today, Rosa has been afforded wisdom and human compassion..
Today my faith continues to carry me through when letting go is the answer, and after four decades I learned that is the only answer.
Today our youngsters are learning ‘kindness’, ‘compassion’, ‘inclusion’, ‘diversity’, IN THE CLASSROOM.. These were lessons learned at home but COVID happened and home turned into the classroom for everything. And as a teacher, I accepted the learning of those lessons.. even if it disrupted my own cognitive functions.. kindness? compassion? inclusion? The absence of these is what allowed me to exist and survive in this world that continues to be cruel so why should I teach techniques that will weaken our young?
I was wrong. Being kind, having compassion, including all and loving what makes us different is not for the weak. Only the strong do and are these things.
This moment, my blogging from the same hostel I return to every time we come to Florence, located across the home I lived in 17 years ago, could not have been possible without friends I met along the way.
Thank you Coach Sostre-King. You mean the world to me. We couldn’t have made it this far without you.
And thank you Lucy, my new friend and now publicist of our Non Profit.
Welcome to the family.