Fighting Poverty with Passion
|“At the start of the new semester I decided I needed to take some time to hang out with kids. I took my VISTA position with New Orleans Outreach largely because I wanted to work for and be around kids. I needed to remind myself of why I took this job and refresh myself for the semester. What better way to do that then participate in an enrichment class?
Man, did I have a fun time! I decided to work with Layla. Layla is an art enrichment teacher. She has a larger than normal class and could use the help. She is also amazingly warm and wonderful so I knew it would be a good time. I was introduced to Lorenzo, an awkward kid who talks really fast and disjointedly, and wears coke bottle sized glasses. I immediately liked him, and his energy was amazing. When I sat down next to him the first thing I noticed, besides the glasses was the desk he was literally “locked” into. He was sitting at a crescent-shaped desk pushed up against the wall. Yes, he was “trapped” behind his desk. One of the first things he asked me was, “When can I get out of here?” I winked at him and said I don’t know, but hopefully soon. I felt like his conspirator.
Before the class was over I learned that Lorenzo wants a dog, he got a Gameboy for Christmas, his favorite color is blue, and he really wanted to be good enough in class so he could take home his previous art work (apparently last week had not gone so well). Halfway through class, Lorenzo was complimented on his work, and Layla showed it to the whole class. He was quick to point out, “Kelly and I both did it.” At the end of the class, he gave me a high five because we were able to finish the project, and he got to take his old work home. It makes me smile right now to think if it. It was a good day.” -Kelly Holmes, AmeriCorps VISTA Member