The African proverb says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This past saturday was the conclusion of the 3rd school year session of the JCWWP “Dare to Dream” program at the Frank D. Parent school. It was the school that Justin had adopted and shared with his peers to help bring the visual and performing arts and math tutoring to the underserved students.
Darrell spearheads this program. At least once a month, the Harvard-Westlake Student volunteers, Justin’s High school Art Teacher, Ms. Hall, his elementary Principal Ms. Q, and our many friends including Angie Daves, Pam Daves and Ricky Lin and the school coordinator Ms. Wallace come together for the saturday program.
I attended the last session. Teacher Darrell gets the ball in motion and tells Justin’s story. This final day was a “fun” day!! Although the H-W students do give them valuable tips for Math to make their efforts fun. Ms. “Q” and her daughter Aurora cheorgraphed a hip dance to Janelle Monáe’s song. Three hours later the routine was completed– and the kids were exhausted!! They soon learned what it takes to put a short number together and now they can appreciate how their favorite artists prepare for their performances. Our village of supporters made this program a success. The kids did not have any electronics or other distractions for 3 hours!! Darrell told the kids:” You know what you just did? Old School Fun!!”
Well a few days ago something special came in the mail. This is how Darrell describes it:
“Susan & I received a letter from President Barack Obama on Monday. He said that he was inspired by the strength we have shown in the face of tragedy. Losing Justin in 2013 was just plain insane, & our lives have changed forever. Justin’s tutoring program Dare To Dream, he started in 2012 when he was 15 years old is thriving, because of our Village & supporters. Susan & I want to say THANK YOU!!! For all that you do for us. This is a very difficult road we are trying to navigate. Thank you Mr. President for reaching out to us. Your encouraging & helpful words will always be an inspiration to us. We love you. Darrell”
This is the backstory as told by Susan:
“It is all because of the support, compassion and love from our friend Renee Plummer. Even though she and her husband Michael , daughter Ashley and her family are kindred spirits and walk their own unimaginable loss of losing their son Austin, she still had the empathy to share our story to our Commander- in -Chief. Out of the thousands of letters he gets daily… her empathetic words got his attention… Can’t make this stuff up!!! Bless you Renee. It’s all for you Justin, Susan”
Like President Obama said : “I have found that Americans can achieve extraordinary things when we work together.”
The African proverb says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,”
Because of all of you-our village we have come so very,very far.
Darrell and I both agree!!!