Celebrating our Grads!!!

Rotary and the ‘ADOPT A GRAD’ PROJECT

“The most essential factor is persistence – the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come.”JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

A story of resilience. One that will be remembered for the ages and will be written about for future generations to appreciate it. In my lifetime, I’ve never seen anything quite like this. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, schools state wide were forced to close their doors, and online curriculums had to be put in place relatively quickly. There was an immediate frustration for parents that needed childcare, for teachers that were forced to build online curriculums, and for our graduates, knowing that their last semester in high school would be completed from home.

Lemonade out of Lemons

Not to be denied the best senior year they were able to have, many of our students relied on electronic platforms to stay connected. Platforms such as zoom and Instagram not only enabled them to remain connected and engaged, but caused him to think outside the box and become creative. Things such as student government meetings, theatrical productions, and more were all moved to online formats. But even then, there was a huge cloud hanging over the head of the senior class and their parents. In May, the school district announced that this year’s graduation ceremonies would be cancelled, and many were frustrated. I couldn’t seem to understand why graduations could not have been postponed (until July) so that the grads would have an opportunity to be celebrated… to me, graduation ceremonies are a rite of passage in a sense.

Turn quickly toward the end of May when it was announced drive-through graduations would be permitted. Again, like myself many just did not see how they would work, and felt as if the senior class was being robbed of a great opportunity to be celebrated. I was wrong, we were wrong!!!

This week I attended the 1st DHS High school drive through graduation and I was pleasantly surprised. The event was broken up into four days (subdivided by alphabetical order), and each student was instructed that only one vehicle would be allowed into the graduation. This is why I was wrong; I saw the graduates and their families having a great time. I saw creativity, as many decorated their vehicles. I even witnessed two vehicles that resembled party buses! Don’t believe me? Just take a look at these images.

Watch my review here:(https://www.facebook.com/171549570209560/posts/552566675441179/) .

ROTARY ADOPT A GRAD WAS A SUCCESS!

Last edition, I wrote to you concerning the Desert Hot Springs Rotary club looking to sponsor/adopt seniors. This year has been such a challenge for all of our students, especially our high school graduates due to the fact that they were unable to have a prom, grad night, or a traditional graduation. With the help of many generous hearts in our community, every interact Senior was successfully adopted! Last Saturday, members of our Rotary club participated in a drive through graduation throughout our city in an effort to distribute the gift baskets. Imagine being one of our graduates, stepping outside and an entire community is there to celebrate your accomplishments!

It goes without saying but our nation and even some of our communitie are at war. This war is not the war being shown across our media platforms. This war is against an unseen enemy that goes by the name of racism but is rooted in evil. This enemy thrives on division and misunderstanding. This enemy thrives on the fact that most will never lay aside their opinions and consider the perspective of another. This unseen enemy recruits the ignorant and has built an army based off of bigotry, prejudice, and extreme hate. However, just as those forces of darkness have come together and unite it in order to push an agenda of evil, racism, and division… We have to beat them at their at their own game. We will never win divided, those of us that know better will have to stand together

THEY want you to believe this is a race issue. That these are battle lines being drawn to begin a race war. Look at the footage… people from every race and ethnicity are protesting. (of course it is unfortunate that even peaceful protest can turn violent for whatever reason)

THEY want you to believe that it’s an attack against ALL police. When in essence, it’s a cry for justice toward the FOUR officers that were involved in the lynching and a plea for officers to intervene when they see something isn’t right. A plea for equity in the justice system.

This is not BLACK vs WHITE, it’s not even REPUBLICAN v DEMOCRAT… it’s a war between good and evil, and I still believe that light will destroy darkness.

THEY can not win.

Let’s not allow the narrative to shift and the goal post to be moved. Let’s focus on the main thing, which is justice for Mr. Floyd.

How do we heal? I believe dialogue is an important step. We may not all have the same experiences, we do all have the same goal in mind. Dialogue will expose perspectives which can lead to healing.

We don’t have to conform to this narrative of divide. We can do better and be better, we can stand together…”ONE nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL”

Thinking out loud…

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