Later the POPS teacher sponsors at BAL,
Karla Rodriguez and
Michael Alston and the BAL volunteer,
Judy Minor, told me this young woman had never spoken about her dad.
But with her secret out of the bag, her face softened, and we all grew quiet, respectful, more tender.
Unconditional love. The whole room held her.
That happens a lot
It is that unarmed openness,
vulnerability and resilience, we see every year in POPS students' stories, poems and artwork as the
new POPS anthology takes shape.
works in the
WE GOT GAME, attest to the tender-heartedness and wisdom of these young people. Our students artfully capture moments of perfect isolation on canvas (as in the
painting from Janna Rae Nieto above) And their
creativity directly inspires confidence as in this excerpt from
Kem Blue: "People tend to underestimate me. Because I’m a woman. Because I can be too kind. Because I’m too young. Because I care. Because I’m Black. I confess, I like it. I get a bit high on the look of absolute shock in their eyes when I win, when I prove them wrong" (
Kem Blue photo below).
We are thrilled to be able to share this extraordinary labor of love with you later this spring.