Thanks to the leadership, vision, time, and energy, of two Achieve volunteers, Jane Kringdon and Suzie Montgomery, Achieve launched its inaugural Friday Speaker Series during the summer of 2012. In creating the Speaker Series, our goal was to connect adults from the Greater Boston community with Achieve, and Jane and Suzie were persistent in their quest to identify appropriate people to visit the program and speak about their experiences with school, professional careers, success, and failure.
With both last year’s and this year’s themes, “Write Your Own Story” and “My Dream, My Future,” respectively, we challenged our students to define success and to map out a path that takes them from where they are today to the future they imagine for themselves.
On the first day of Achieve this summer, students were asked to think about their hopes and passions, their dreams and their futures. After brainstorming about goals and the concrete steps that were necessary in order to reach these goals, students identified an object to symbolize each step of their path into the future. Students also wrote short pieces that explained the significance of each object within the bigger picture of their dreams. Students packed these objects and their written pieces into “suitcases” as they prepared to set off on their personal journeys.
Below, we share some of the writing that our students created as part of this project.
David’s bright future,
is effort, college people,
and books to help me.
Car engines are the things I
would like to study.
Also, the engines would drive
me to a future.
~ David, Pride 5
I can’t wait to see
a big part of me
my drawing is crazy
and I’m not lazy
No one can stop me
I must pay a small fee
to complete my future
I’ll create the creature
but no one will beat her
~ Devon, Pride 5
A computer and graduation cap too,
these are things that represent,
what I want to do.
Have a family is a second plan,
have a husband,
a beautiful single family house,
and some cats no doubt.
I will do lots of paintings,
I will sell them,
maybe even to you.
To be an author
you need to express your feelings,
and have a wonderful vocabulary,
also a good imagination to get your mind started,
and teen books I will write,
some might even give people a fright.
What will I do with my future you ask,
well I think I have just started to tell you.
~ Emily, Pride 4
“The epiphany dawned on me and surfaced, but when it hit me, I was sure. A theoretical physicist, an engineer, science related topics, that could unlock my future. That’s where I would go, using notebooks to go into my thoughts safe and sound. The beaker, holding my passion, and using it to mix my interests.
~Edward, Pride 4
Music flows within me
my passion, my hope, my dream
my thinking process is simply a melody
a thunderous symphony
a sweet sounding rhythm
my words are keys
these notes I will sing with ease
this joy I hope that the people will see
and feel and touch and love.
~ Diana, Pride 4
I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. In school, at home, on walls…I love to write. Whether it’s a poem, a song, about me or just a story. I just love to write. Music is also one of my passions. It could be a song I hear on the radio or something I’ve written myself. It’s just something that I can connect with. Fashion is another big chunk of my life. When I was little it was all about matching colors. Now it’s a little different; a little more…me. I want what I wear to describe me. Whether it’s 4 inch heels, neon green shoelaces or even just a simple t-shirt. I want to be a fashion designer with my own show, write a book, and make at least three songs that everyone knows by heart.
~Rebekah, Pride 4