As we close out a year and half of programming at the Star-C After School Program at Summerdale Springview, we are excited to celebrate our many wins and plan for an amazing continuation of the 2019-2020 school year! We have learned many things over the last 18 months, and we want to share some of our biggest lessons with you.
- Change your mindset, change your life. Winning, just like learning, doesn’t start in the classroom. It starts in the mind. As we re-frame our thoughts around our abilities and how we can use what we already have and know to get what we want and need, we have found ourselves achieving more than we thought possible.
- Direction is critical to success. Once we know where we’re going and what we want, we can develop a plan for how to get there. Even if we find ourselves needing to adjust the plan along the way, if we know what direction we are headed in, having to adjust doesn’t take us off track.
- Community is EVERYTHING. While we all have to walk our journeys ourselves, we don’t and honestly shouldn’t walk our journeys alone. Having those that can help, encourage, and sometimes even push us along the way, helps to ensure our success in the long run.
Here’s some of what we have accomplished based on these lessons learned.
- On average, the students that participated in the Star-C ASP at Summerdale/Springview outperformed their peers on the Georgia Milestones test. We know that we still have a way to go in making sure that all of our students are proficient in all subject matters, but this first main achievement in that area was definitely one worthy of celebration. – Direction is critical to success.
- Throughout the Year students were able to add 12 new books to their at home libraries! These books have helped us to grow as good citizens, learners, and neighbors. Lessons on how to handle challenges, knowing that we are valued and loved, how to take our ideas to the next level and many more have helped us to upgrade our entire though process. We have greater confidence in ourselves and our ability to appropriately face whatever challenges may come our way. – Change your mindset, change your life.
- We were able to build an amazing new playground that has energized the entire community. Through our partnership with KABOOM! and CarMax Cares we were able to bring together over 200 volunteers to get this beautiful playground built in a single day and to remind everyone that great things come out of the Southside, which means great things have to go into it too! We are so thankful for all off the greatness that took place on that day! – Community is EVERYTHING.
Finally, in a special moment that I was able to share with my kiddos and community, I completed my undergraduate studies and received a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Quantitative Analysis and Education and a minor in Business from Florida A&M University. At one point, a dream that I had put to the side, this former dream became my reality after one additional semester of really hard work. My kiddos became my inspiration and accountability as we shared our goals and dreams while we did homework and studied together. In the end, while they couldn’t attend graduation, we celebrated together and ended this accomplishment with a commitment to each other that we would all continuously do our best, believe the impossible, never give up, and encourage each other to do what we needed to do along the way to ensure that we were in the best position to live our dreams. In part, I did this to be a living example of the fact that it’s never to late to dream and live a new dream. I wanted to motivate them with a real life, tangible example of what hard work can get. I wanted to challenge them with every A along the way. But in the end, when it sometimes got really difficult, and I honestly wanted to give up, it was them that reminded me that it was all worth it in the end. It was them that encouraged, loved and supported me getting across the finish line. They were not only a part of my why, they ended up being a huge piece of my how. I don’t know if I could have done this without them. I am thankful that I had them to be a part of this with me. And in this we lived out all three lessons together.
Change your mindset, change your life.
Direction is critical to success.
And above all, community is indeed EVERYTHING.
May these three lessons carry you to greatness and beyond in the days, weeks and months ahead!
Here’s to great things in the New Year and Beyond!
Happy New Year Friends!