Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Weren't We Just Partying Like It Was 1999? @BPEFInc

Every spring break, I have the honor of working with the College Access Program, part of the Bridgeport Public Education Fund led by Executive Director, Marge Hiller. We share many similarities - a zest for Bridgeport youth, Drum Corp International, and a willingness to give up a spring break to advocate for the young people we believe in. Yesterday was no exception, and although the days were cut to an hour workshop, I was still able to entertain/teach/think/explore with 40 Bridgeport Public School Seniors as they embark on last months of their high school careers and their future as college students.

They are the class of 2021. Yes. That is the truth. They were born, too, after I saw my first generation of high school graduates cross the stage in Louisville, Kentucky.

Zip. Zap. Zoom. It's just like that.

It is always amazing to work with the BPEF CAP seniors because they are always the most thirsty, engaged, ready, and willing adolescents in the city. Yes, they are nervous about what is to come, but they are also enthusiastic about their futures, getting away from home, and proving themselves as budding academics.

I realized yesterday while working with them how important programs like BPEF CAP are to young people attending schools like those in Bridgeport. They desire everything that will come their way and I had to laugh that many of them - those at Harding High School - recognize Chitunga as a youth tutor when he spent one semester working with them in their schools.

It's Spring Break, yet these kids got up like it was a regular day and joined presenters at Housatonic Community College for workshops on the college experience. 60-minutes is a tight wad of time, but I packed in as much as I could, dangling the intellectual carrot their way and offering advice on what they need to think about as first-year writers (after they successfully graduate from their schools this spring).

This is a shout out to them, BPEF, and all the youth advocates in their school, who work daily to support their achievement.

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