Written by Jalen Shelvin, AmeriCorps member proudly serving on the AT&T team at Broadmoor High School.
The “Executives for Education” breakfast was the exact inspiration I needed to continue with my service.
Mayor Sharon Weston-Broome mentioned a very riveting quote that stated: “People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.” That one quote alone put my service year into perspective, which gave me understanding. As AmeriCorps members who are welcomed into the school, we have the personal assumption that we know more than these kids, which is an accurate thought. But that information is nothing of value if they don’t trust us or feel comfortable in knowing that we care. Which introduces the value of true mentorship.
The overall theme of this morning’s breakfast was Mentoring, and it’s importance. A highlight of it was Pastor Raymond Jetson, who also serves as the President and CEO of MetroMorphosis. He spoke about his bond and relationship with his father, which related to me in an intimate way. Although the bond I share with my father came at a later period of my life, the intent and value that it serves in my existing adult life mean the absolute world to me. Another highlight that stood out to me, came from a fellow AmeriCorps member Ngeindaloh Smith, whose speech was amazing. I related closely to his message of further allowing kids the space of understanding. We often lose the aspect of understanding, as it relates to kids. PITW #50 *bing!* states “We Must Never Lose the Human Aspect of What We Are Doing” which is very real. We also must intentionally remind ourselves that although most of our students act as adults, they are still kids at heart and are longing for guidance from someone they know, who cares about them.
Overall, the breakfast served a greater purpose than just free food. What it introduced was a dialogue about why what we’re doing as AmeriCorps members, is important. We must be intentional in mentoring and helping these students survive. They long for that mentor who cares.