The Power of Choice

Posted by: Brett McNaught on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 12:00:00 am

I know that the freedom to choose is right.  It is the core of democracy, of what it is to be American, of what it should be to be human.  But I am impressed when I see it work in small but powerful doses.  At Educate Tomorrow the students we work with choose to be a part of us.  They choose to take advantage of the resources we can provide them with and they choose to keep walking through our doors.  And when they make those choices, each time they make those choices, they are one giant leap closer to reaching their goals, to becoming empowered and to reaching their goals.  Many teenagers don't get to choose what they want to do.  They have to go to school.  They have to clean their room.  They have to come hoe at a reasonable hour.  When you are in the foster care system your choices are even further restricted.  With that so are your opportunities.  And here is Educate Tomorrow a small, non-profit organisation that is focused on education, learning, skills building.  To a teen I can imagine, how boring does that sound?  I know that is what I would have thought when I was 16.  And to top it off, no one is making anyone be a part of Educate Tomorrow.  There are no bribes, save for a free lunch.  So here we are, Educate Tomorrow has all these great things to offer a young person: a mentor, a life coach, tutoring, a safe place to come and chill, ACT/SAT prep, a computer lab, life skills camps, college tours, and much much more.  If you embrace Educate Tomorrow and all that we have to offer, it will change your life, no doubt.  And it has changed lives.  3 strong young women now have their masters degrees, 9 have bachelors and many associates and vocational certificates.  And the reason for that is because it was a choice, and that choice to go get a mentor, to go to a life-skills camp, to go.  Yesterday I was sitting at my desk staring at our empty workstations in our new mentee resource center, because school was in session, and I was wondering, wrongly, how can we get students to use this.  Then what impressed me was right after school our door started opening and by 3:30 pm there were 4 of our students workng on the computers.  One was doing PREPWORKS, one was searching for an apartment, one was doing their homework and the other looking for a job and compiling a list of resources for other transitioning foster youth.  I can't think of anything more inspiring than when people make the choice to put in the hard work to create opportunities for themselves.  

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