Second Wednesdays are my favorite day of the month. Indeed! It is the day that the community comes together to honor seven high school seniors from Escondido. The poetic twist is that the adults are equally honored to be there. They come as part of the student's circle of support, but leave with a kindred spirit and renewed vigor to invest in the future of even more students.
There are always valuable lessons to be learned at the Rising Star Breakfast. Here are just two that will stay with me.
The Strength of Humility:
One of our students shared the heartache of becoming homeless after his father could not find work in the construction industry. Yet, they persevered and grew stronger together. Giving up was not an option. Homelessness is a real issue that can affect hard working families. It took a tremendous amount of strength to share this real, life changing truth about his family. It would have been easy to hide behind the facade of pride. Through his honesty, he will go on to change many lives as the experience has taught him compassion and hope.
Titles do not define us:
I think it is human nature to categorize and title virtually everything. Schools are no exception. If we assume the title is correct, then it will guide our experience. For example, Valley High School. Each of the students we have honored began by saying that they failed, therefore they were sent to Valley HS. However, they chose to embrace the opportunity and were able to drastically change the direction of their lives. It is the school of tough love...and may very well be the best kept secret in education in our city. The lesson: life is what YOU make it.
We will have a final breakfast on April 11, then scholarship awards on May 20. Thanks to the generosity of the community, we currently have $10,000 committed for this year.