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As the school year draws near…

August 2, 2012

As we near the end of summer away from school for many of our young people, it’s hard not to think about the kids jumping back into the educational system in September again. Though some young people look forward to the challenges of the classroom and hanging out with friends again, many of our youth dread school. Or, even worse, not even be in school to begin with.
It can be one of the biggest stresses on young people today when the school environment weighs heavier on most due to struggles they might be enduring at home, in their families and with themselves. Pressure that can be added by just the sheer volume of kids at a school, or the social anxiety that can come from seeing those around them in better situations or just the battle of not being able to learn the same way as other people, the approaching date of school starting again can be daunting.
As a result of this, many students shut down in their schools, not just in North Hastings but all over. Some react poorly, don’t do the necessary work and find themselves just short of graduating looking for hope. While some can find themselves believing that a life with education is impossible and are left not feeling that they can accomplish anything.
They are in need of a patient, unconditional love and hope that we know exist through the love of God that is for each and everyone of them. That is why we strive to share that with them by working with the schools and the students to break these barriers and do what they once thought to be impossible: leave with a diploma.
This year, through our Education Mentorship Program, we were brought to tears to see two of our students cross their respective stages in June as high school graduates. Overcoming their own personal obstacles through encouragement and patient people in their lives, they were able to graduate and now look forward to bright futures in whatever they do.
The Switch Yard would like to sincerely congratulate Alex Beck and Tanya Burry on their graduations, and wish them all the best on the road ahead. Beck now looks forward to finding a career in Carpentry while Tanya continues to look for options, but both are driven by the success they have had and hold themselves higher because they were able to achieve amazing things.
These two, along with our other graduating students from York River Public and North Hastings High are just examples of how patient love and encouraging presence can mean so much in a young person’s life. Any kind of barrier that our young people face, we are driven by the love that Christ has shared with us to be positive presences in the lives of these young people to help them fight through the hard times, believe that they are incredible and achieve great things including an education.
So, as school quickly approaches, we think on those who are still out there not going to school because they have been kicked out, or have struggled to get the work done or just dread the pressure of facing all of those students once again. God has given us a heart for them, and we will continue to give them an open door for each and every one of them.

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