Today was our last day before Christmas break. Usually it is full of crazy kids high on sugar, teachers just trying to get through the day and counting down the minutes till we don't have to see teenagers for 2 whole weeks!!! Today at school was a little different. We have had 3 tragedies happen at our school just this semester and the assembly we had today couldn't have come at a better time. We had a group of teens from a group called Journey to Dream - Livin it Loud come and do a presentation for the whole school. Some of the performers are current students and also alumni of Hebron. The whole performance was about drugs, alcohol, suicide and different issues teens today face.
I thought the performance was excellent for several reasons. You can have adults, counselors, parents or coaches tell these kids till they are blue in the face about how their decisions can create horrible consequences but I think what really made an impact was that these were their peers, telling their story. Their testimonies were heart-wrenching.....but true. This group did such a good job of telling our students that they are not alone in their challenges with life and to demonstrate that, they had everyone stand that has battles with: divorce, alcohol, drugs, suicide or depression. Literally, everyone was standing in the auditorium and I think to some of these kids it was such a realization that there is always someone there to listen or help.
Probably my favorite part of the assembly (and I feel like only in the south this would be allowed in a public school because we are in the Bible Belt) was that all the kids that gave testimonies and the true message behind the whole performance that what saved these kids from their addiction or problems was their faith and getting involved with church and a group of people that truly cared and wanted the best for them. We had a kid talk about how he started with drugs and alcohol at age 11 only to find himelf in front of a judge ready to be thrown in jail by the time he was in 10th grade. He is now 20 years old, and looking to go into the ministry full time. I taught this kid and it just amazes me to see how his life and completely changed and you can see the joy he has and how he loves sharing his story with others.
On days like this.....I love my job more than anything!!!