I would like for you all to know at Start2Finish that you have made a tremendous impact on the lives of numerous kids. As a teacher, I know that we do not always see the difference that we have made. Sometimes, we just don’t hit the mark; other times, the effect is unnoticed. In the case of Start2Finish at our school, I know how much your efforts meant to so many of these children.
I have been teaching at this school for a long time…sometimes I think it has been too long. I have taught many of these kids since they started school. It is always so hard to reach them – I mean, really reach them. It is hard to find something that means enough to them to keep them working hard. Often, the perseverance is just not there. Perhaps they did not have a person in their life demonstrate that quality in a real way for them. I have been involved with a few extra-curricular initiatives over the years that were supposed to help bridge the gaps either between home and school or simply between the demands of the real world and their own sense of purpose. These were programs that were tried and true and were designed to help kids succeed. In my experience, the real challenge has always been in keeping people engaged in the program. Unfortunately, the “stick-to-it-ness” is not always strong. Students drop out and the program is not as successful as hoped. But I feel that Start2Finish has motivated a lot of kids to stick with it and succeed. I want you all to know that in my experience, it was a success.
I am sure each of you has a “special” case. A student who really touched you or at least one you were really glad to see cross the finish line. Me too. Please remember that for each one you noticed, there was at least one student who was affected by your efforts without your knowledge. Those are the real victories.