This year’s Youth Development Academy, created by Sharefest, is in full swing. We are entering day three of a month long journey to instill values into the next generation toward helping them discover how they can be agents of change in our world and our society. It has been an amazing couple of days thus far and I am truly looking forward to the rest of the summer.
I am back with the team after taking a five month hiatus and it has been exhilarating and rewarding. My involvement, of course, is teaching a creative writing class to middle school students. The goal of the class is to help students discover their voice in the midst of injustice through creative writing tools and leadership development. The process, however, and helping students find their voice isn’t always easy. In fact, you really never know if they are retaining the information and are embracing the journey.
At times, even, it feels like the students could care less and you never really know if you are bearing fruit.
That’s until, of course, you have a conversation with a high school student who took the class five years ago as a middle school student and it changes your entire perspective
The student, after some friendly banter, wanted to confirm if indeed I was the creative writing teacher who taught the class five years ago. I confirmed said inquiry and she went on to tell me that it was because of the creative writing class that she took as a wee little middle schooler that she was inspired to start writing poetry.
It goes to show that you really never know who you are influencing in the moment. Our inspiration and encouragement goes a very long way. You may not see the fruit tomorrow or next week or next month, but as we plant seeds, we can rest easy knowing that the watering is happening, nutrients are being cultivated and the fruit is growing just waiting to blossom in its time.