I have written once before on our blog about how frustrating it is for us not to know what happens to our students in their years following our program. Once in a “blue moon” we are fortunate that one of our volunteers or retired volunteers have a chance meeting with a former student. This week it was my turn.
One night this week before going to the program, I stopped to do a “little” retail therapy and lingered too long in the store. I was waiting on the curb to cross the parking lot when a car went by with a familiar face. It was one of our favorite former students! He parked his car and we chatted for a few moments. He asked about our volunteers by name and how they were doing. I learned from him that he is a senior in high school and hoping to go on to NOVA and then to a 4-year college. He was dressed nicely and well-groomed. He is a young man now!
I remember him most fondly. He was a skinny little kid when he started attending our program and at times gave us a “smidgeon” of a hard time. He always had a twinkle in his eye and was quick to apologize if he stepped across the line. While we try not to display any favoritism, there are some students that just creep into your heart regardless. He was one of them.
I didn’t have time to chat because by then I was really late for the program, but I gave him my card and asked him to keep in touch with us. I thought about him off and on all evening. There were times when we weren’t sure he was going to pull it together but with his easy going personality and some fortitude, and yes, help from us I believe he’s on the road to success. I sat looking across the room at all the current faces in our program and wondered if 12 more years down the pike, we’d have another volunteer experience what I did. If it happens, they will be most lucky!
Barbara Sorenson, President of Vecinos Unidos