Scenesetter: Rocks Moved
At the beginning of 2018, San Antonio's Eastside had no Starbucks, no students from ZIP code 78220 attending elite Liberal Arts colleges in the Northeast, no signs recognizing students demonstrating Academic Excellence, and a single student from Sam Houston at the University of Notre Dame.
On April 30, 2018, Starbucks held its Grand Opening at 3818 E. Commerce Street. It's mission reads, "To inspire and nurture the human spirit--one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time." The Starbucks is one exit on I-10 from my house so it is now my other office where I can gain inspiration from Emerging Leaders and others who are nurturing the human spirit with their gifts.
During my birthday week, May 20-26, Dr. Mateen Diop, proud principal of Sam Houston High, unveiled the huge banner on the west end of the main building recognizing the Top Ten in the Class of 2018. A resident or a visitor used to be able to travel from downtown San Antonio on East Houston Street all the way to Loop I-410 without seeing any sign acknowledging that Academic Excellence Matters on the Eastside. The Top Ten Banner is helping to change the landscape!
Two Sam Houston scholars received acceptance letters from elite Liberal Arts colleges in the Northeast in late 2017. From January through August, Brandy and Rosalinda eagerly anticipated when they would be able to join classmates entering their freshman year at Middlebury College in Vermont and Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Both Emerging Leaders from ZIP code 78220 benefited from their efforts to demonstrate Academic Excellence and inspired others to share their gifts to help them and their parents make the trip to these amazing colleges in late August.
As an alumnus of both Sam Houston and the University of Notre Dame, I have wondered about Hurricanes this decade being recipients of the Kindness available to students at Notre Dame. Through his own efforts--and strong urging from teachers and College-Bound Advisors in the Go Center, Jonathan became a QuestBridge Scholar matched to Notre Dame. He joined Yahterie-Anne, SHHS '16, her mom and me for the road trip to ND for Welcome Weekend for the Class of 2022.
Our 2018 Theme was "Be Kind and Celebrate Academic Excellence."
We practiced Kindness by sharing our 5 Ts (Time, Talent, Training, Thoughts, and Treasure) with others. One of our key messages to students in urban public high schools was: "People care about your education and you can go to amazing colleges and universities" (Quote from Abigail Martinez, Sam Houston High Class of 2018/University of the Incarnate Word 2022).
What we experienced in 2018 by using the Kindness Approach was overwhelming samples of Kindness that we received in return. We also witnessed significant movement of rocks related to the Eastside San Antonio's efforts to celebrate Academic Excellence.
Our report attempts to capture a sampling of the many blessings experienced during a great year of service to others.