Saturday, August 20, 2011

A New Opportunity

As of Wednesday, August 10, I officially started my position as a "Math Fellow" at Denver Public Schools - specifically, Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS) at Montbello.

The Denver Math Fellows are tutors for students at 7 schools in DPS under a program (through Blueprint Schools Network) to turn around low-performing schools. Each student at these 7 schools will have one hour of math tutoring every day for the whole year. I will have the same twelve 6th grade students (2 at a time) every day.

How it Happened

In June, I had an itch to see if I could find any substitute teaching positions in the Denver area to supplement my income while I continue work developing the non-profit Compassion by the Book. I have survived on about $4,000 of savings the past year and worked solely as a volunteer founding and getting CBTB off the ground. However, a series of events (namely a car breakdown) resulted in my savings drying up more quickly than expected in May.

So, as I explored websites for subbing jobs, on the third website (DPS's), I found the Denver Math Fellows program. I applied, attended a screening event, interviewed, participated in a mock tutorial session with a real-life 6th grader, and was notified I would be hired the next day!

What's Next?

My salary and benefits as a DPS employee will help me continue to work on Compassion by the Book. I will be working on CBTB nights and weekends and have already found a renewed focus everytime I get home to expand and develop CBTB. Since I will have greater financial security, I will not have to start fundraising a salary with CBTB prematurely and can continue to focus the majority of my efforts on the textbook fundraising program.

I appreciate all the efforts of my friends and family to help me follow my dreams this last year (especially my parents, who have allowed me to live at home, store thousands of books, and have kept me fed). I am thankful now for this opportunity to touch the lives of young students at DCIS and to continue my efforts with Compassion by the Book.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Mountain

I go to my mountain
when I need to be alone with God.
When I need to leave the world.

I bask in his presence there.
He takes my yoke from me.
I sing, I run, I dance.
I rest in peace.

There I go to be free.
I wish I could be on my mountain all the time.
But I must remember
his presence never leaves me.

I go to cry too.
I connect with myself.
Where I am.
Where I have been.

There is no hiding there.
There is no need.
His love pervades all.
No where can I go that he is not.

I remember what matters there.
I cannot be distracted.
I meet my maker
and die to the world.

Oh that I could live
forever on the mountain.