leg·a·cy: n. anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor
My grandmother's legacy has contributed to many of the accomplishments her grandchildren celebrate today.
I was 12-years-old when I found out my grandmother was illiterate, she had never gone to school and didn't know how to read or write. As I passed her a birthday card someone had sent her she quietly passed it back and told me she couldn't read it. That shocking moment has had a profound impact on my life. It's when it clicked: the act of encouragement is invaluable. The way my grandmother encouraged her children to go to school is the same way my mother has encouraged me to pursue my goals.
It could be intimidating to encourage your child to take an unfamiliar path. I remember telling my mother that I was joining the Peace Corps; leaving for two years to serve in a community in Guatemala. While the respect of my mother is paramount and she could have easily convinced me otherwise, she supported me throughout. Living in a developing country was a constant reminder of the circumstances from which my grandmother persevered. As I pleaded with my students to continue their schooling against all odds, my mere presence was my strongest argument; the granddaughter of a woman who only knew how to sign her name.
In working with Crossing Thresholds, I am excited to be part of the schools, programs, and experiences that will influence the future generations of Kibera. Like many in our Crossing Thresholds community, I eagerly anticipate our next trip. I am beyond excited to hug our school directors, to shake hands with our student leaders, to hear our music team perform, to simply be huddled by endless hope and possibilities.
To our students, I could promise you, you are your ancestors' wildest dreams.