Have you noticed that when you see someone smile, you are likely to smile back?
Each week at Begin Anew, I see smiles (joy) on the faces of our students, their children, and our volunteers. Here are some recent examples:
1. I saw joy when a student learned she had finally passed her Hi-SET Math exam after attempting to pass it for the past 4 years.
2. I saw joy when a student learned a group of individuals had paid her monthly rent. The student works at a fast-food restaurant and had missed several days of work to stay home with her sick children.
3. I saw joy when a student and her Begin Anew Encourager saw each other on the first night of class after being out for Christmas break.
4. I saw joy when a potential student learned that Begin Anew offered free childcare. She dropped out of her GED classes 2 years ago because she had a baby and could not find childcare.
5. I saw joy when a student shared that she and her children had recently gone to church for the first time in several years.
6. I saw joy when a student shared that her Begin Anew Prayer Partner had met with her to talk and to spend time together.
7. I saw joy when a student and her tutor celebrated that she passed her driver’s test after they had studied for the test together.
Many of our students’ lives are filled with stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. But at Begin Anew, they receive love, support, and encouragement. I am thankful to be part of an organization that seeks to improve the social and emotional health of our students. I can’t wait to see where I will see smiles next!
Tracey Gholson, Nashville Program Director