"If you care and want to do something like that woman from Seattle who asked how she could help, please share a skill and be a mentor to someone."
I needed to be reading this book, it was right on time. Recently I've been feeling like I'm not doing enough, because there's always so much more to be done. I dedicate my life to the youth, aiding the next generation in becoming their best selves through the art of dance. I've always been known as the acerbic, no none sense, militant one. I was that black girl in a predominantly white high school, I was at every damn march, I called people out on their foolishness without hesitation. However, in the more recent years, I realized that it takes so much more, I don't remember which march it was, but at the end I didn't feel full, I didn't feel like we had made any change, we stopped traffic yes, we taught a few people yes, but where was the change. After that, I knew my focus had to be my students. So I took a different approach, we would study literature, we would study the news (which I always hate because I'm what you call an empath), we would create pieces that were in direct alignment with what's going on and bring awareness.
I started bringing my students with me to allow them new opportunities and experiences. I recognize my privilege, and vow to take everything I've been afforded over the years and pass it on. I took 3 of my students to D.Watkins book release and they loved it! They've seen professional dance recitals and concerts. They've met the artists we've studied. I've stayed in contact with students from years ago trying to make sure they stay on the right track. Yet and still, I always feel like I need to do more. What that more is, I don't know?
D's words really resonated with me though, the entire Chapter 13 "Be The Person You Needed Growing Up". Specifically, "Be a mentor and attend events that are important to your mentee, offer positive reinforcement, share your connections, and help them gain access to the tools you didn't have. You have to be the person you needed growing up." I was reassured that I am doing enough, it's not the end, but being a mentor can change the trajectory of someone's life and make for a better tomorrow.