Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Life on the Other Side of Raising Expectations

People always say, "There are two sides to every story". Well with the Raising Expectations story, there are two sides to the journey. As a former student and mentee, I only saw the student's perspective. This perspective consisted of field trips, getting homework done (most expeditiously), "Take A Student to College Day", Poetry, Community Service, but most of all, always staying involved in activities that allowed students to raise the bar.

Now that I work with Raising Expectations, I get to see a glimpse of the business side of the journey. The side that works from 8am until; and when I say until, I mean until everything is completed and every child is home safely. One time, that "until" ran up to 10:00pm. The side that focuses on the students’ success by creating engaging lesson plans and school visits to check on our students’ grades and conduct. The side that partners with parents, teachers and community agencies to enrich the students’ lives and the community as a whole.

I work in an office with a group of women that exude so much leadership, wisdom, poise, and determination that in the four months I have been with Raising Expectations I have grown as a person. Learning and seeing this other side of the journey, has definitely opened my eyes to see how much work, energy, time, and stress goes on behind the scenes. Raising Expectations' journey has changed lives and affected so many people along the way. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to share this journey with Raising Expectations this year, allowing me to see the ins and outs of the organization from the other side.

                                                        By: Shekinah Lewis

Learn more about our work by engaging and sharing with us on our website through facebook and other social media tools.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Americorps Experience at Raising Expectations

Making the decision to come to Raising Expectations (RE), by way of AmeriCorps, was a hard life-changing decision. Before beginning my service at RE I was attending graduate school at Mercer University majoring in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. But after several months at Raising Expectations, I can say that my decision was well worth it.

My experience at RE thus far has been one of the most wonderful, yet heart wrenching ever. The team of women that I work with are absolutely awesome! There are challenges, but we always overcome them. I love my team. We work hard and have fun at the same time. My students have definitely grown on me. At first it was challenging, but now that we have gotten to know each other, it is going great. I find myself thinking about them and doing things for them on my off time. 

This past Friday, I had to pick up some of my students parents for a parent-teacher conference. It was a humbling yet a touching experience that brought me to tears. To see where the kids are growing up,  makes me appreciate my life even more.  It also strengthens my desire to help them raise their expectations of themselves, and become a product of their dreams and not their environment. 

By: Tay Williamson