I always love the beginning of a new year. There is so much promise hanging in the crisp January air as one chapter of our lives draws to a close and new milestones surface on the horizon. Though New Years resolutions are often lofty and (unfortunately) unmet, I still enjoy the practice of resolving to be a better me. My resolutions this year are simple but life altering—the way I wish all of my goals were—and I am thankful for the gift of a fresh start.
This past week, as my fellow tutors and I exchanged New Years resolutions with the students of our Tuesday class, I was moved by the value of these students’ goals. Among many, these included becoming better daughters to their mothers, improving their work ethic, graduating high school, and for some, even focusing on the steps for getting into college. The effectiveness of Sharefest’s partnership with Avalon High School speaks for itself in these students’ aspirations for educational success and self-improvement in the upcoming year. From hearing their resolutions and working with them for the past month, I am certain that these individuals will uphold their commitment to obtain an education and rise above their circumstances throughout the year ahead. Milestones may be more frequent for some and fewer in between for others, but I personally hope to continue creating opportunities for success, to be more verbally affirming towards my students, to build real relationships with them, and to give more selflessly of my time, resources, and energy to make their second chance worthwhile. In the midst of the New Year season, I am realizing that Sharefest and Avalon—and all of us involved—are in the business of fresh starts and second chances. The spirit of renewal and restoration are the very hallmark of what we do.
I hope the New Year has found all of you well—that you are in good health, good spirits, and good places in your lives. With all the blessings of 2012, let us teach a little more passionately, paint a little more brightly, give a little more generously, work a little more freely, and hope a little more joyfully. May we commit to another wonderful year for Sharefest and its many programs…may we support our students in becoming better daughters to their mothers, improving their work ethics, graduating high school, and entering college to become individuals that make an impact on their communities.
Written by Donna Sohn // YDA Tutor