My experiences of this last week have far surpassed even my highest expectations. Everyone’s passion to educate and inspire is clearly evidenced through the discussions we have had as a group and the obvious eagerness everyone has to actively participate during the various activities of orientation. On our second night, we watched a movie called Freedom Writers. We had a very powerful discussion after the movie – centering on our personal experiences in middle school and high school. We realized that many of us have had very similar experiences and come from very similar backgrounds. In addition, it was clear from the discussion that even though some of us come from different backgrounds we have shared very similar experiences. The movie and discussion enabled me to realize how incredibly universal and diverse the manifestations of adversity truly are. At least for me, the opportunity to watch this movie and discuss it as a group enabled me to feel much closer to everyone else.
It is very clear that we have all dedicated ourselves to teaching these students for the summer because of a shared set of deeply held beliefs and values. The general attitude of incredible work ethic and passion of our group is very difficult to express in words. Our average work day lasts about 13 hours. Despite the long hours, everyone seems to be extremely happy to be here and extremely dedicated to doing everything possible to benefit the students.
It has only been 1 week, but I am so glad that I chose to spend my summer at Breakthrough. I had a few other options, but I’m not sure if I would be so excited to get up every morning and come to work at the other internships I was considering. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity.
Thanks Michael! Incidentally, Breakthrough is honored to have the subject of Freedom Writers, Erin Gruwell, as keynote speaker this fall at “Breaking Bread for Breakthrough,” our annual benefit dinner in San Francisco. She will be sharing her experiences inspiring America’s underserved youth, but I’m personally hoping she also talks about what it’s like to be portrayed by Hillary Swank. More information on Erin, Breaking Bread for Breakthrough, and the other things we do to keep the lights on here at Breakthrough can be found at our website.