Hello, again Brashear bloggers! It is me, Ms. Arielle, your Education Coordinator at ALEC.
I'm writing today to share some bittersweet news with our community. Several weeks ago, I received an exciting opportunity to pursue a position in Chicago. After much thought and consideration, I have decided to take on this new adventure. In October, I will be starting as a Research Associate at the American Institutes for Research. Here, I will be helping out with research and data, and I will be specifically focused on learning more about after school programs! It is my hope that I can use this work to further advocate for the importance and prevalence of after school programs in neighborhoods like ours across the country.
With this being said, of course, comes the bitter news. I will be hanging up my hat as the Education Coordinator for the Brashear Kids After School Program. I am incredibly heartbroken to be leaving my favorite kiddos, but I know that ALEC is in the amazing hands of Ms. Dianna, our long time Site Coordinator, and Mr. Donte and Ms. Nesha, our new AmeriCorps teachers. I am departing from the Center, knowing that these three will do a spectacular job in running our after school program and continuing to provide these amazing opportunities for our youth.
While at ALEC, I have learned so much more than I ever could have imagined.
From the Allentown Neighborhood, I have learned the value in taking pride and ownership of your community.
From the Brashear Staff, I've learned about communication and leadership.
And finally, from the kids, I have learned countless lessons in a variety of formats. I've learned to be silly, to be fun, to not take life or things to seriously, to really go with the flow and take it one step at a time, and most importantly, to take it slow. These kids have shown me the value in stopping to smell the roses, to admire the skyline, and just to chit-chat about our feelings. They have shown me love and compassion, and trust, and for them, I am forever thankful. For me, good-byes are always hard. They are the hardest, however, when they are bidding adieu to little ones, who are bright, kind, and so so capable, with the whole world in front of them.
I have had such an incredible year at the Center, and I can't imagine having spent my year in Pittsburgh any better. Good luck this year, Brashear! I will always be thinking of you!