The vision. I was in my second year of working for Minneapolis Public Schools, still undecided about my future, and my sophomore year of undergrad. I was somewhere between wanting to be a museum curator or an archeologist. Staying in the public school system just kind of happened.
That spring, I had just planned my first fieldtrip by taking a group of young middle school boys on a campus visit. I linked up with some Ques and had them show them college life. I was frustrated because all the boys knew was their neighborhood (North Minneapolis) and their aspirations were so low. Not all, but some. All I wanted to do was show them the world outside their block. When you’re still young and the worries of life are limited, those grand ideas seem easy to materialize. Life was happening, my big old grand idea was set aside. I didn’t even realize I was somewhat stuck in the confines of my world too.
That summer, I had the opportunity to study abroad. I had never left the country. The most traveling I had done was road trips from Minnesota to Michigan to visit my mom’s family in Detroit. I had a faint memory of flying to Alabama to visit my dad when I was ten. Going from St. Paul to Minneapolis made up my travel experience. My summer abroad changed the way I was viewing the(my) world and the perception I had about the young boys I was working with showed me how limited my idea was. I just wanted them to explore beyond their block, when I had barely left.
The original vision was to create a program for youth to travel outside of their neighborhoods. Sounds simple right? The new goal now is to assist families in traveling. The idea stemmed from two separate ideas. When I was completing my M.Ed and teaching license, I had to develop a project. I had an idea that would place teachers in their student’s homes for a few hours on the weekend, similar to families that host learners from abroad. I had worked with too many teachers who were only at the school to pay off their student loans (there are loan forgiveness programs for educators that commit to working in low-income school districts. Some of those teachers come, get the loans paid off, and dip. Some stay and attempt to become “great hopes” but that’s another story). I still think that should happen, but I digress. The second idea was from my earlier vision of getting youth to travel.
I put both ideas together and created Think Outside the Blox.
Now that life has slowed down, I can give back. And, I have to give back in a way that fuels my passion.
Still re-reading: Sisters of the Yam, bell hooks
Just started: They Came Before Columbus, Ivan Van Sertima
Currently listening to: Winter’s Diary II, Tink