I walk down our halls and my heart bursts at the seams.
I stop to talk to a spirited and loud fifth grader. She hooks her arm in mine and we walk to her next class. At the end of the hall, one of our seventh graders, who is quiet and often angry, sits at a table crying. She says hello, but can’t bear to talk about what is upsetting her yet. I head downstairs and pass an eighth grade boy, or young man, I should say. He is tall and a little awkward with a wide smile. I hear his deep voice, and I am nostalgic for the sixth grader he once was. I enter the cafeteria and see one of our alumnus visiting with a teacher. He’s a high school graduate who has lost his way, and together, they are making a plan to get him back on track.
I see our values painted on the wall: CARE, INCLUSIVITY, COMMUNITY, SERVICE, JUSTICE, ZEAL. After encountering these five wonderful and yet very different students, I reflect on INCLUSIVITY as we define it: We embrace our differences. Every voice matters.
Everyone has a place in our mission. We love our students for who they are while we challenge them to be their best selves. And, we unabashedly celebrate that each one of our students is SOMEBODY. Thank you for supporting educational equity, hope and love. Your encouragement, inspiration and commitment is transforming lives. You are somebody. My hope for you and for our future is that each of us – students, families, donors, volunteers, staff, board – radically and unapologetically lives into our unique and wonderful selves to create a better world.
With love & gratitude,
Executive Director, De La Salle, Inc.