Last year I visited School 113 twice–once with my friend Kasey. At this special facility for kids with physical disabilites I met an unforgettable young lady by the name of “Gena.” Her energy for life – her heart for writing poetry – her hope to learn English and travel to America touched my heart. We connected. And I promised her that if I were able to return to Samara this year, I would attend her “Last Bell” ceremony to honor graduates.
So yesterday I kept my promise. Unexpectedly, I was given the opportunity saying a few words of congratulation to the graduates during the program. I encouraged them to continue perservering and remined them that the strength of character that allowed them to get this far, would also carry them on to realize their dreams.
It’s so much fun to be able to touch young lives. To be somewhere at the right time and place, and make a difference.
Galina Fiilippova says
I am so happy for you, Jeanette, you look fantastic in this picture. I remember you did the same a year ago, no matter how tired and busy with your schedule you were, you still made sure you attended the grad ceremony for the kids to who you had promised you would be there for them:) Of course, it is such a special treat to them, to have someone so special and unique to them to stand by their side at this very important moment. I am sure they will remember this for ever:)
As will I remember it. When a child’s eyes shine with joy, the effect is unforgettable.
This made me cry. So beautiful :-). How awesome to be able to keep a promise even across continents and time zones. 🙂
Amen, dear friend. Promises matter. A lot.
John McDaniels says
Having just been to a 10 year reunion with my former students from the high school here, after having been to the graduation and banquet with the d12th grade from this year, I can sympathize with your joy in being able to share in the lives of young people wherever you are. God bless you for your willingness to share God’s love with them.