“We are the champions, my friends. And we'll keep on fighting 'til the end” - Queen
A hand clap emoji for the Back-to-Schoolers 2020 edition! You deserve more than a few. You stepped boldly into the unknown and carved a path for all to follow. I know, all the adults think they’re in charge, but you are setting the standard. You are the rebels. The rockers. The revolutionaries. You are...because only you could be. You let go, adapt, and learn quicker. This is your superpower.
Last year I wrote an article called Back-to-School Game Plan: Getting the Family Closer and the Goals Clearer. In summary, this article laid out a simple process for creating clear goals in four areas of life: physical, mental, spiritual, and social. In preparing to write this month’s article, I thought of that process and how much harder creating balanced goals has been over the last six months. Then I thought of you. I thought of your resolve and the example you set. I thought of how it has inspired me, and probably your parents and teachers as well. You embraced many challenges, overcame limitations, and prevailed every day in effectively navigating a world that few could ever have imagined. You’re so modest that you probably didn’t even know.
Let me break it down for you…
At a time when team sports were deemed to be unsafe and beaches were closed, you went on walks. You rode bikes. You played golf. You did workouts and team practices online. When beaches and trails opened, you navigated how to safely enjoy them. You wore masks and kept distance.
When traditional classrooms closed and life moved online, you paved the way for teachers. You learned how to Google Meet and Zoom. You relearned how to learn, and you made sure that educators relearned how to teach. As musicians, you learned how to write and record songs. You learned how to share music and create together from all parts of the world.
You took time to reflect. You took breaks. You slept in. You were faced with having everything that you knew turned upside down, and amidst this abrupt detour in your life, you grew stronger. The student that enters today’s classroom is wiser and more equipped to succeed than ever before.
Life told you that you could not see your friends the way you were used to. Not at school and not at home. You couldn’t do the same summer activities or family vacations. This didn’t stop you. Instead of wasting a moment, you seized the day. You connected with friends using video games, social media, video conferencing, outdoor movies, and group walks. You invented one solution after another.
In a recent lesson during a songwriting session, I heard you call for justice and equality. I read your words and was touched. I felt empathy, and I noticed an awareness far beyond your years. In a time when I needed hope, you restored it.
Simply put. You inspire me. You inspire us all. I survived and now thrive because I am surrounded by people like you who teach me every day how to be. When I look back at the last six months, I smile thinking about all of the new skills I acquired and then smile again when I realize that if not for you and your winning resolve, I might not have been so fortunate. So I guess, we truly are the champions, my friends.
Program Director & Founding Partner