Dear Spring Friends,
Our newsletter had to take a summer break to make room for all the excitement!
Can you believe that the 6th-graders from 2011, the 11-year-olds from our original Spring cohort, graduated in May and joined the ranks of College Spring this fall? We are still struggling to fully comprehend it all, but it’s happening: Spring has 10 students in college, our first “babies” are grown up, and the 50 students following in their footsteps have their almost-peers to look up to as they walk and model a path that is full of ambition, challenges, victories, joy, perseverance, and hope. As we start year 8 of Spring, we want to take a moment to reflect on these amazing youngsters who worked so hard, pushed against and overcame so many obstacles, and kept standing up when things seemed impossible: we are in awe of their strength, resilience, and courage, and we admire who they are and want to be. As we share with you about our College Springsters, please consider how you can continue or start to invest in the next generation – young people who will run with your support and strive to make their lives and the world around them the best that it can be.
These two 11-year-old cuties are now proud freshmen at the University of Mississippi (scroll back up to the very first picture for a 7-year jump). Jari is going to major in psychology with the plan to become a therapist after becoming convicted of the positive impact therapy can have on people who are trying to figure out how to live their most healthy and fulfilled life. Schuyler plans to become a math high school teacher, having figured out how much he likes and is great at explaining difficult concepts to others. He attends the University with a full ride. Their graduations in May were, of course, some of the highlights of that season.
Rodkevial and Bradley have moved into their dorms at Mississippi State University and Loyola University New Orleans, respectively. Rod plans to major in engineering or architecture: he is a gifted artist and builder with an acute sense for detail. Bradley is studying Computer Science, having been really inspired by touring a self-driving car company with Spring this summer. Check out these young men on their move-in days!
Bradley has been with Spring from the very beginning in 2011 and Rod joined our first cohort in 2013. These two young men had to fight to get to where they are today – things often were not easy, and they worked hard and never gave up. Their physical growth is real, but the overall growth we got to witness knocks you off your feet:
Rod’s and Bradley’s graduations were a wonderful time to celebrate and reflect – and while this email just shares the highlights of “who is in college where and studying what” we will share a video with you very soon that has the young adults talking about their journeys themselves. They can share their own stories in ways that only they can – and that we feel we shouldn’t – so we are excited for you to hear from them directly.
Michael and Marcus spent 8 weeks in June and July to take the Summer Developmental Program at Mississippi Valley State University. After they successfully completed the program they were granted access to all 8 State Universities in Mississippi. Marcus decided to stay at Mississippi Valley and major in Communications. Michael chose to live at home for now and attend Coahoma Community College – he plans to major in music and transfer to a 4-year university after receiving his Associate’s Degree.
Michael joined Spring in 2012 and Marcus in 2014. Both of them had to make a lot of tough decisions and stay strong to meet their goals. In the end, they were relentless in their pursuit of what is possible. A lot has happened over the last 6-4 years… 🙂
This photo album of a newsletter is getting close to the end, but not before you get a glimpse of the joy from graduation day. These 6 freshmen join our 4 graduates from 2016 and 2017 (more updates on our previous graduates coming soon) in the ranks of College Spring – our first 10 students to be working towards their college degrees. We know it’s going to be a long and challenging journey, but having seen these amazing young people grow up we know that they can do anything they put their mind to. We are excited to keep you up-to-date.
We will be back with more news about Little Spring, Junior Spring, Big Spring, Baby University, and College Spring soon. We saw a few of you signing up for the newsletter again – we did not take you off our list, but our summer was so busy that we couldn’t slow down to send these newsletters. We are excited to share about the wonderful summer and the start of year 8. Please take a moment before moving on to what’s next for you to help us with what’s next for our students and Spring overall. Your support makes all the difference and determines what we can do to see our students succeed. Please consider making a contribution today – to donate online, you can click the button below and to donate via snail mail, please send your blessing to Spring Initiative, P.O. Box 1759, Clarksdale, MS 38614. Your help goes directly towards young people like QuaMesha, who is starting her sophomore year at MSU, and youngsters like Dinero, who dreams about going to college and is putting in the work every day.
Thank you all so much! Starting year 8 is a big milestone for us and we reflect often on how we didn’t know in year 1 or 2 all the things this path would have in store for Spring. One thing we know for sure is that Spring would have never made it this far without your guys’ support. We are so grateful for and feel incredibly blessed by your contributions – be it emotional, financial, practical, material, or spiritual.
Thank you so much!
Love and peace,
Your Spring Team