I am sorry to be selfish here, but as I think of May, as the dad of a graduating senior, my mind is consumed with thoughts about graduation. High-School graduation is a distinct and unique season in life. It not only is a graduation from a schooling process that included the first day of kindergarten, middle school, and high school; it is a graduation from youth to young adulthood. So many decisions are made post high–school that impact the trajectory of life that there is just enough realism to cause a high measure of stress and anxiety. As I live this season out with my son, there is an uncanny quantity of optimism in graduates that is almost unnerving as a parent. When you talk with seniors or listen to their speeches, they recognize the struggles they have overcome during their 12-year educational experience but point to the wonder of the next stage of life as they enter the “real world.” As they consider this next stage they are excited about the impact they are going to make, about how they are going to influence the future, and how they will make their mark in the world. Before I had a senior, I dismissed this thinking as merely optimistic, knowing it wouldn’t take long for the world to fight back their enthusiasm and put them in line. Now I pray earnestly that they will lean into this thinking, continue to believe it and let it push them into their next season.
As the President of the Amarillo Children’s Home, I am praying the same for our seniors. We have a large class of kids that are embarking on a new season in life. Our mission is “to restore the identity of children, so they will understand their great value, and be a blessing to others.” We are accomplishing our mission when our kids begin to understand the struggles of their past and look optimistically to their future. When they begin to believe that they are exceptional and that they can do remarkable things their identities are restored to what they were made to be! I continue to believe that kids are truly amazing and I am so thankful to be allowed a job that invests into them. ACH kids graduate high school with skill sets that many kids never learn. They have persevered dark seasons, overcome adversity, and seen the effect of hard generational chain breaking work. As I think of our seniors, they are young men and women that I will brag about as I would my own. Their many accomplishments and battles won have prepared them for future. I look forward to their impact on the world.
Thank you for being life changers. Your support and care of these kids creates an environment of restoration so they can become who they were created to be. Each of these seniors has had strong mentoring relationships with individuals on campus and in our community. They are the future of our community. Thank you for giving them the encouragement and tools that are needed. Thank you for investing in the future of our community. You are making a difference!