I would be remiss to not acknowledge the beginning of L.I.G.H.T., for it did not start with me. It began with a passionate group of people working alongside me, as we went about daily tasks of educating children.
Light of Tradition
The role of educating children afforded me connection to many communities. Two school communities, in particular, etched a memory of unity, solidarity, and hope in my mind. Both communities had active alumni. Alumni members not only imparted the history of each school, but they also expressed a belief that whoever was connected had something to offer and would make positive contributions to the school. They mentored students and affectionately took anyone else who was a part of the school under their wings. Their actions spoke resounding volumes. Their presence stated: “This is who we are. This is what we do. This is how we do it.” They were people of service, and their impact was infectious. Some identified this level of engagement as pride and tradition. However, their wisdom and genuine actions kept their engagement relevant and very much needed by current students, staff, and parents. Their impact surpassed pride and tradition; it cultivated and sustained a sense of community and belonging.
This “tradition” was light. It revealed the need and importance of interdependence and cohesion within a community. In light of this tradition, individuals within each school bonded as a community—a community poised to invest a fortune of hope with an exponential return—a return that attends each school on a daily basis through actions and lessons imparted by each connected individual.
Work of Traditional Light
From the principal to the custodian, each individual walked with a sense of purpose and the belief that he or she had more than a job to fulfill. Within the daily walk dwelled an abundance of support and expressions of confidence from one colleague to another. Conversations integrated the expectations for achievement and the need for collective accountability with hope-a selfless hope that entrusted information for the sole purpose of benefiting students, parents, and the community. In essence, people within each school mirrored that of the traditional light.
For a while I watched as a bystander. Little did I know I would soon become a participant.
This realization marked the dawn of light, a shift in my personal and professional perspective.
Working with these individuals nurtured my inner spirit to educate. It molded and shaped me as an educator. Moreover, it influenced my personal and professional growth. The light within each individual illuminated the school’s vision and revealed the core of a selfless group of people uniting for the benefit of children. It ignited a light within me that recognized what so brightly shone within each individual who engaged in this daily labor of love.
Close interaction with these powerful communities helped me to recognize the light in others and realize the power in my potential to lead.
The heart and passion with which my colleagues shared information, delegated roles and responsibilities, and carried out a collective accountability motivated me to commit more of my talent, time, and heart. Their way of work continues motivating me to work as though I am a candidate continuously qualifying for the job as an educator.
For these reasons, I humbly share the launch of this educational platform and community with Lincoln Memorial Middle School, Palmetto High School, and all individuals who see, live, and share light in their daily walk through this journey of education.