Think about the last time someone cheered you on or given something you weren’t expecting. Didn’t it feel good? Weren’t you excited to do more or do better? We are surrounded by a village of forces that each day that gently nudge us along, sometimes impacting our direction.
While I was waiting for my test scores to be verified and sent back from state ed I noticed our beloved secretary. Piles of paper to the left of her, diplomas behind her, stacks and stacks of envelopes to her right. She prepares many things for graduation. During our exam week I had noticed half a dozen members of our faculty lending her a hand. That is one thing that rocks about where I work, people are willing to help if they see a need and have the time.
When I asked what remained she stated it was one of her biggest tasks. I reminded her that we were waiting for the same thing and that I was happy to help. Into the room across the hall that had large tables we walked with the stacks and stacks of envelopes.
First we spread out the manila envelopes, ~100 of them. One for each senior. She would read the name, I would find the envelope, we would both verify that it was correct prior to moving on. And so it began. Diana had stacks of white envelopes up to her elbows that she handed me one at a time.
The first few went to some ‘usual’ suspects. But then the scope of envelopes we pulled increased. And again, more and more different student manila envelopes. At one point I had to stop and stare in disbelief.
The white envelopes were envelopes of our districts scholarship offerings. From our very small community (~5,345 people) over 63 different organizations had contributed roughly ~$160,500 to our students. It wasn’t just the typical ‘smart’ or ‘athletic’ student who got scholarships students of many abilities, backgrounds, strengths, and interests were recognized. After counting 50 different students I lost count.
Our focus and my amazement resulted in time passing quickly. I finished this task with a hard to state pride for being apart of this school and this community. I was proud of our students; those I had in class, those I had in homeroom, and even those who reputations at one point proceeded them. The members of our small village had contributed so much to such a diverse group of students that would be entering society and college.
While the envelopes were simply objects and the money is just that, money this represented much more to me. It represents the faith and trust our people place in both the school and the students. The scholarships are a cheering of a job well done and a pat on the back. They represents hope for the future, a some guidance and assistance as students go off.
I know for some of those envelopes, that money is the only money that students will have as they go into uncharted waters. I also know it may be one of the first (but hopefully not the last) time anyone has said “Great job, we have faith in you”. It is hard to predict the future of the Class of 2016 but there is one thing I know for sure regardless of what the future holds, both our school and community have faith that they can make a positive difference in our world. And really, what more could be asked for? Thank you students, thank you community. It does matter.