A fifth grader that was afraid to sing now sings in the aisles of Walmart and treated us to a solo performance at her Graduation! So cute and sweet. She now knows she can. A parent reflects on her child and says that he has come out of his room for the first time in a month to have dinner with the family, that his grades are improving, and he is now talking about going to college. A senior High School girl, an absolutely beautiful AP student, talks about her stress and suicide thoughts. A young 12 year old Middle School student shared that for the first time she feels loved.
The work of Reaching Higher is both humbling and powerful. We are continually reminded of how precious each child is and how important the Reaching Higher course is in the world today. Below are a few testimonials from some of the eighteen graduation ceremonies we celebrated this spring:
“Last night’s graduation of the 2014 Reaching Higher class at Milford High School was absolutely tremendous and impactful in so many ways. Students were encouraged, engaged, and positive, just as they have been over the past eight weeks. Parents were touched and motivated as they witnessed the leadership depth within each of their children. As an administrator in the building, I was filled with joy and motivation to listen to our students’ stories on where they’ve been, where they are, and where they want to be. The mentor support was amazing and the relationships built between students and mentors are powerful enough to sustain. I cannot personally say enough great things about the program, the mentors, and the impact our students and community have felt. The Milford High School community thanks Reaching Higher and looks forward to the continual relationships to build and to motivate in the future. Thank you!”
Dean of Students
Milford High School
“I lacked any happy feelings in me because I felt that I wasn’t good enough for anything. Now that I’ve been through this course I feel a lot better. I feel more relaxed and at peace. I honestly feel like I’ve been relieved of anger and frustration. This class has taught me a different outlook on life. “
“Before Reaching Higher my grades and my attitude in class and at home were bad. I never really tried anything. Never really cared about my grades, and never did my homework. Now, because of Reaching Higher, my GPA went form a 2.6 to a 3.3. My attitude at home and school has changed dramatically. I have finished all my homework assignments in the past 4 weeks and I plan to keep it that way!”
“Before Reaching Higher I was struggling with myself; taking my own life was always on my mind. I might seem beautiful on the outside, but not in the inside. Honestly, with this experience I will appreciate myself every waking moment and always know it’s not what happens, it’s how you react to it. You guys are lifesavers. I want to be you someday.”
“My heart is full of hope. Hope for these students and their futures. Hope that they will remember how amazing they are and their potential. But I have a new hope for my own life. I will follow my heart’s dream and not let life scar my heart, but instead embrace it and be the me that I was created to be.”
This is a picture of my best friend from High School, Jill Jones, who mentored at Milford High School this spring. At the Graduation ceremony, one of her students gave her his cross – an unexpected miracle! What a reminder that our students are our greatest gifts!
Thank you ALL for the LOVE and HEART you pour into our classrooms – you are making a difference in the lives of these children!