I am amazed by our core group of faithful GED preparation students at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS). Every day they teach me so much and their presence in the Education & Technology Center brightens my day. I am several years removed from my own journey through the educational process and I forget what it’s like to struggle and to persevere. Each day I watch what these students are willing to do in order to achieve success and have seen some of the challenges they’ve had to overcome to continue toward their goal. The students are grateful for the opportunities they are given, they make no excuses and they blame no one for their present situation (perhaps not even themselves). Simply put, they are focused and they are getting the job done.
In addition, these students recognize the caliber of the volunteers who tutor in the Adult Education program. They have formed bonds with these amazing volunteers and I have been privy to the camaraderie among them as I spend my days in the lobby of SFBFS’ Education & Technology Center. These students also never seem to take for granted the sessions of tutoring to which they are scheduled. They show up on time (or early) every day and are ready to get to work.
They also refrain from making excuses. Over time, I have learned more and more about each student as they pass through reception every day and many have shared some of the challenges they face. Some have family members face grave medical challenges. Others have battled their own health issues. Furthermore, they cannot always count on the support of family or of other members of their community, yet I’ve witnessed from them what can only be described as school spirit, with one young lady responding to a critic of her studies here, “Oh no, do not disrespect my school!”
I’ve seen students struggle with frustration. I’ve seen the tears. I’ve seen some on the verge of giving up. However, I’ve also seen other students and tutors step in to reel them back into the classrooms. Some students have walked down the stairs and out the doors, only to be escorted by friends back up the stairs to a soldier on. That is courage! That is growth! That is character!
Another thing I’ve noticed from my vantage point in the lobby is a shocking lack of blame. I don’t hear complaints about their surroundings, their past or decisions they’ve made which brought them to this point in their lives. They simply show up and get the work done. They are proud to be a part of a group of positive-minded people, creating positive change and I am proud to know them.
Submitted by Brenda Wherry, SFBFS Receptionist