As the graduation season comes to a close, I want to introduce you to a few pretty spectacular graduates. The ladies featured in the picture above are a few of the 2017 graduates from Chiles Academy here in Daytona Beach. Chiles Academy is a pretty spectacular place. It's a charter school for girls who are pregnant or who have children. This school provides them with a foundation of support so that they may continue their education in spite of what some might consider, odds that have been stacked against them. They not only provide transportation to and from school for them, they also provide child care for their children while they tend to their studies. How phenomenal is that!
I didn't get to spend much time with these amazing women, but in the time that I did the sense of sisterhood and support was almost palpable, and completely infectious. What better way to get to know them and what they have accomplished, then by the words of their teacher............
To the ultra strong and very lovely young mothers who GRADUATED last night:
I'm blessed beyond measure to have been a part of your journey. It's funny how people sometimes view teachers as "givers of knowledge" when the truth is that all life and all learning is an exchange and an experience of co-creation. We are all givers and we are all receivers and it's ongoing--not just something that happens in school.
From us teachers, you may learn literary periods, algebraic expressions, historical eras and so forth...
But from YOU... we learn what it looks like to be dedicated to a young child/baby even when you yourself are still figuring things out. We learn that it's possible to have a baby, a job, go to school, and still be a graceful and kind individual.
From you, I've learned what true SISTERHOOD looks like. You all have a bond that will never be broken. You've lifted each other up this year, laughed with each other, supported each other, cried with each other, and have been the best cheerleaders for each other.
You give me hope that the future includes an abundance of women supporting women. That's what we are here for after all!!!! To be kind, to lift up, to grow, to help, and also to never ever forget to first LOVE and CARE for ourselves.
From that place of self-love, you can be a wellspring for others that will never run dry because it is constantly renewed by your own gentleness with yourself. You understand that your experience, though very tough at times, makes you who you are.
Because of all that you've endured, you will have a sense of EMPATHY that will help you heal and connect to all sorts of people in your life. Your experience gives you depth of spirit♥
I am soooo happy for you and proud of you!!! I will always be there for you if you need someone to just listen or you need support. I have no doubt that your present and your future will be filled with beautiful things.