The Relatives’ Family Update
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Can you relate? It’s a question we’ve asked you, and we ask ourselves, often.
The truth is I can’t relate. As a privileged, white woman, I have no idea what it’s like to be black, to know that I won’t be treated the same way as someone else because of the color of my skin, to know I don’t have the same opportunities. What I do know is that the youth and young adults we serve have been facing this crisis alone for far too long, and now is the time to come together and try to relate to this crisis that affects us all.
The last ten days have been excruciating. Our hearts are broken. The Relatives stands in solidarity with all who are hurting because of racial and social injustice. Within our mission is a commitment to youth of all races and ethnic backgrounds to provide a safe haven for productive, open dialogue for young people to express themselves and channel their emotions and energies in ways that are solution oriented.
We tell our youth that education is so vital to create pathways to a brighter future. That’s why we offer on-site, and newly introduced virtual GED classes taught by dedicated volunteers. It’s not just our youth who need educating. I encourage you to educate yourselves on how you can be an ally against the systemic disparities that so many of our youth and young adults face. Reach out to your friends and open that dialogue – ask them how they are doing and be a safe place for real conversation. After all, no one cares what you know until they know that you care.
Join with us to tell our youth, “We see you, we hear you, and you matter.
Darion won’t take no for an answer. He’s been with us for almost 2 years and has been on his journey to getting what a lot of us take for granted – his GED.
School was always a struggle for Darion. He was 16 when he failed his freshman year and was told by a teacher there was no way he would ever move forward. This really broke his heart and it seemed like no one was willing to help him. But at The Relatives, we know there is always a way.
Darion dropped out of school and started to support himself by working a part-time job, but he knew he wanted more for his life. He heard about The Relatives through a friend and began working harder and harder toward his goals through our GED tutoring program.
Since coming to The Relatives, Darion has passed three of his four GED exams and saved his hardest subject, math, for last. Since January, Darion has taken his math exam twice, getting closer and closer to passing each time. Most kids would crumble under that sort of defeat, but Darion is determined to succeed. The last time he took his exam, he was 6 points away from passing. Then, COVID-19 hit.
This pandemic has affected us all in different ways, but for Darion, it’s meant that it’s slowed his progress to reaching the finish line. Luckily, we have amazing volunteers and staff to keep pushing Darion forward. Our supporters have made themselves available in different ways to make sure that Darion, and others like him, still have the resources they need to accomplish whatever goal they strive toward. Through virtual GED workshops, Darion is feeling ready to take another stab at passing that math exam. Because of you, Darion can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Relative Spotlight: Christopher St. Hilaire
Like Darion, Chris was 16 when he stopped going to high school classes. Chris went from having absolutely no motivation to further his education, to enrolling in classes at CPCC and is now heading to Princeton. While studying at CPCC, Chris wanted to provide support to young people who shared his struggle. Fortunately for our young adults, he found The Relatives and signed up as a GED instructor.
Among the many young adults Chris has met with, he is currently working with Darion one-on-one to help him achieve his dream. We are so thankful for Chris, and the countless other volunteers, who take the time to enrich the lives of our kids.
Click here to read more of Chris’ amazing journey, featured in The Charlotte Observer.
Be a Virtual GED Instructor
You also have the chance to make a difference like Chris! We are looking for individuals who have the patience and understanding to tutor those pursuing their GED. Sessions will be conducted virtually through Zoom, and we can provide the materials needed to help guide our young adults. No teaching skills required, just a big heart!
If you are interested, please contact Christina at firstname.lastname@example.org.