Dear Scholar family,
I have always loved writing letters. Letters are a conversation; you write a letter with your reader in mind, crafting one side of a conversation that you hope will generate a reply. And when it does, you’re well on your way to a correspondence – which is my hope!
As I leave the job that I have loved for the past (nearly) four years it is impossible not to begin with gratitude. Gratitude for all the Scholars, educators, supporters, and friends that have made my time with the Bezos Scholars Program so much more than a job, but a membership in a new and ever-growing family.
I was incredibly worried when I started this position that I would be tied to a desk in an office tower surviving on the nostalgia of direct service. Immediately – beginning with my first cohort in 2015 – it was clear this would not be the case.
Sharing music and book recommendations, meeting up with alumni in San Francisco and New York, visiting Local Ideas Festivals in action, supporting the Aspen Challenge program and connecting with Scholar alumni in each of the Challenge cities, seeking out opportunities for our beyond-fantastic educators, such as the Character Lab Educator Summit, led me to learn that this job only occasional takes place at a desk. It’s really about connecting with incredible people. No, I’m not talking about the notables we meet in Aspen, but every single one of you.
Maybe it’s having spent so much time around Jackie – but I think the only thing I can really say in parting is thank you for saying “yes.” For without your having said “yes,” I would be moping behind my computer screen attempting to solicit information for our databases, processing applications, and churning out print materials. Instead, I’ve formed fast friendships, lasting connections, and look forward to meeting you in person if I haven’t already. Thank you, especially to those Scholars and educators who challenged me to take this next step into graduate school. I will be pursuing master’s degrees in social work and education from the University of Pennsylvania in the coming years. If you’re ever in Philadelphia – give a shout!