Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Dee Dee: The Road Less Traveled By

In his famous poem The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost wrote:

...I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Dee Dee Allen, a student at Berea High School, is taking the one less traveled by. I had the pleasure of spending the day with Dee Dee and Lauren Whitner (a Bridges student from TRHS) on Monday. They had the day off from school, so we traveled to Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC to take a campus tour and meet with faculty. Both are Seniors and have been interested in Winthrop for quite some time. Spending the day with Dee Dee, reminded me of the Robert Frost poem.

Two Roads Diverged in a Wood
I have said this before about Dee Dee and I will say it again in writing, she is a special student! I have not met a student who possess quite the same mixture of talents. She is charismatic, smart, creative, funny, and lovable. She makes light of many things in her life, except for one, academic success. Academic success is very important to Dee Dee. One may not immediately know that about her because she puts up a front that is quite convincing. However, to those who know her best, knows that school is a priority. In a student culture where being smart is not cool, Dee Dee has stood in front of divergent roads and been challenged to decide.

I Took The One Less Traveled By
Dee Dee was recently selected to attend a Creative Writing class at the Greenville County Schools Fine Arts Center. This was quite an accomplishment. She had to apply, interview, and was the only student selected from her school for creative writing and is the only African-American in this class at the fine arts center. I was not surprised by the accomplishment because I have witnessed her creativity in writing for three years at Bridges. She has written many poems during Bridges that hit you right at the core. The road less traveled by...

And That Has Made All The Difference
By taking the road less traveled by, Dee Dee has allowed herself to experience aspects of life she may not otherwise. Dee Dee has a tough exterior that serves as protection from many influences. However, very smartly, she knows when to soften. This softening has allowed her to take the road less traveled by and open herself up to new experiences. Being in Bridges facilitated much of this evolution. This has made all of the difference as she begins to realize her goal of going to college and majoring in graphic design.

The Bridges Leadership Team. Dee was instrumental in leading this team. She is pictured here, left to right: (f) Lauren Whitner, Maria Negrete, Janet Uribe, (b) Jorge Jimenez, Dee Dee Allen, Jonathan Riascos-Montoya.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Five Bridges Students Selected for the Inaugural Class of Youth Leadership Greenville

Five Bridges to a Brighter Future students were recently selected to participate in Youth Leadership Greenville! Daphnie Glenn (Riverside), Luis Gonzales (Greenville), Hillary Rampey (Woodmont), Rosa Rivera (Berea), and Damaris Taylor (Greenville), are participants in Class I.

The mission of Youth Leadership Greenville is to engage the youth of Greenville County in a series of classroom and practical learning experiences designed to develop, cultivate and nurture their leadership potential and to get them engaged in Greenville’s future.

The program participants are selected from among students who are highly motivated and potential leaders within their school communities. The program of study will challenge these students to become more aware of, examine and respond to the social and economic needs of the Greenville community.

This year’s class of 32 rising high school juniors represent 13 high schools in Greenville County, including Greenville Charter High School. The program for this year’s class will include sessions on the history of Greenville, healthcare and human services, quality of life in Greenville, and law enforcement and local government. In addition to these topics, the students will also participate in workshops covering college and career selection, leadership skills development, and how they can make a difference in their community.

We are extremely proud of these young people selected to participate in Youth Leadership Greenville!