The sky in San Francisco was red, orange, and a mustard yellow this week—a visual reminder of the devastation that fires are causing in the Western United States. In other parts of the country, hurricanes, flooding, and drought are wreaking havoc for other communities. Our Black American friends continue to face injustice, and COVID-19 continues to take its toll on the world. All of these events are further disrupting the day-to-day rhythm of students’ lives made even more noticeable because it is September, the month when America historically goes back to school.
In times like these, what can we do? We look to the future. My colleagues and I work with high school and transfer students who continue to hope and dream about college. We acknowledge the losses and give each other (and especially our students, our children) time and space to be angry at the losses. But as parents and counselors we are called to guide them toward the future—to envision a future despite their masks or the smokey air. Education still matters. Exploring passions, understanding their potential, setting goals: That all still matters. We can only do our best, ask students to do their best, and keep moving forward with small steps, big steps, any steps!
We are resilient. Our students are resilient. Our communities are resilient. We will keep moving forward.