by Dexter Harper
The media spotlight affixed on North Amarillo Saturday, drew attention to the power of education and community involvement. Perhaps you caught coverage of the event as part of your local news cast Saturday or read of it in the Sunday Globe News. No matter how or when you learned of the college preparedness workshop held at New Hope Baptist Church the facts surrounding the workshop can’t be disputed nor dismissed:
- it was positive and motivational
- highlighted and targeted resources for obtaining higher education objectives
- provided hope by watering the seeds
With that said, read closely the Globe News article of the college preparedness workshop. Yes, I’ve been known for my disagreements with the Globe News, but this case is not against Globe News. Their reporting was perfect, non-bias and an accurate account of the college preparedness workshop.
I’ll get back to my rant after you’re finished reading :
Program helps students prepare for college
By Aziza Musa | amarillo.com
Keep watering the seeds.
That’s the metaphoric message San Jacinto Elementary School principal Doug Curry gave parents and caregivers Saturday.
Curry presented Damen Lopez’s No Excuses University program to more than 50 parents, children and other community members at New Hope Baptist Church, 1305 N.W. Ninth Ave. The program, which began in 2004, emphasizes the idea that every child has a right to be prepared for college.
There are 117 No Excuses University schools nationwide, 10 of which are in Amarillo, Curry said. San Jacinto Elementary was the first in the state to implement the program, he said.
“Your job is to water the seeds by saying words of hope to them,” Curry said. “There is nothing stopping any of you.”
San Jacinto Elementary also provides parents with the opportunity to earn a General Education Development certificate.
Curry said education can help break poverty.
“There is a hoop you have to jump through to get somewhere in life,” he said. “Money is not the problem. The problem is do you have the guts and courage to make that first step forward.”
West Texas A&M University teamed with the church and brought out the Mobile Go Center, a mobile classroom used to help younger students prepare for college, said WT student Victoria Arambula.
Arambula and other WT students showed attendees how to apply for financial aid and other services for college.
Pastor Tiller Watson said his congregation needed to get the word out about post-secondary educational opportunities.
“In any community, every child needs to know the opportunity for education is available,” Watson said. “I hope that by informing them and giving them the tools they need, we are empowering them to seek higher education.”
Brigitte Crosslin, 17, said she wanted to learn more about college. Crosslin, a high school junior, said she is eyeing WT’s physical therapy program.
“It’s nice to have the support from the community,” she said. “It helps to know people in the community want to see us make something of ourselves.”
Mary Ann Gardner, 49, said she came out to the church to learn for herself and her 7-year-old grandson, JaTayvis Brown.
JaTayvis, who is her eldest grandchild, was excited and could not wait to go to college after the presentation, Gardner said.
“I want to keep him in that same mind frame,” she said. “I want to encourage others to seek more and to never let go of their dream. It’s never too late for anything.”
Gardner said some parents grew up angry because they did not take advantage of the educational opportunities.
“But we need to reach out,” she said. “God has a lot of resources for us, and we just need to go out and reach for it.”
She said parents and caregivers are the foundation and need to keep pouring the water on the seeds.
Curry said parents and community members may not know when — or if — the seeds will sprout.
“It’s not my job how they turn out,” he said. “Our job is to keep watering the seeds, and I guarantee you that’s not a wasted effort.”
As I stated above, there is nothing flawed in the reporting of Saturday’s college preparedness workshop.
Did you see the paradox? Do you understand the absurdity of watering seeds, especially within the context of the last 3 sentences? Maybe you didn’t, so I won’t linger.
I would be asinine and absurd for a farmer or gardener to only water his crops and fields. How successful would the harvest be if the only investment in the crops were water?
“… keep pouring the water on the seeds.”
True, seeds need water but more than water is needed for a successful harvest.
“…may not know when — or if — the seeds will sprout.”
True, but what are you going to do when they sprout? Pouring more water, won’t stop the crows, insects or even the weeds from destroying the crops.
“It’s not my job how they turn out, our job is to keep watering the seeds …”
Damn? You’re a lazy farmer for just watering and not taking ownership for the out come of your crop?
Now do you see the absurdity of watering seeds?
I thank God for the media coverage, the sponsors, the participants and all who made the college preparedness workshop a success. But what I’m the most thankful for is what happen after the bright lights of cameras, reporters, keynote speakers and multi thousand mobile classrooms departed.
I thank God for wisdom, the wisdom of the sponsors of the workshop to go beyond merely pouring water on seeds. Both men and women of the community stood up and took responsibility for the crops by identifying themselves as mentors role models.
Thank God for the opening of dialog between the generations. One young man tearfully expressed how he felt that nobody cared about him or his dreams before the workshop but discovered opposite to be true.
They may not know when the seeds they’re watering will sprout but thank God there is a segment of the community that understands the absurdity of relying only on water for a successful harvest.