When children age out of our program after 6th grade, we don’t often see or hear from them again–except for the few but fortunate circumstances where a younger sibling attends and we are able to stay in touch. Those of us who have been with the program a decade or more have seen a lot of students pass through our doors. We often say to each other, “I wonder what happened to X?” I wonder if he graduated on time? Do you suppose she went to college? Sadly, we rarely have any answers to those questions and are left to wonder whether we had an effect on their lives.
Last week, I encountered a former student, and I was overjoyed not only to see him but also to obtain some answers to the questions we always ask ourselves. He opened the conversation with “Do you remember me Mrs. S.?” and I replied, “How could I forget you!” That wasn’t just a line, it was the truth! I remember the many hours I sat with him assisting with book reports, themes for English, and essays for social studies–too many hours to even count! He was a student who always had a twinkle in his eye, a grin on his face, and a little bit of the dickens in his soul and I was glad he had not changed.
To my joy, this young man graduated from high school and is now working at a part time job and going to community college. He wants to transfer to a university once his two years are complete at NOVA. There is no doubt in my mind that he will succeed with his plan. As the old saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child,” and I am truly grateful that VU volunteers are part of each child’s village and hope they can continue to do so for years to come.
Barbara Sorenson, VU President