Last week we had the pleasure of taking some of our students from Cultivate to a drug and alcohol awareness program put on by local police, first responders, and local drama students. The program was a four act performance following fictional students from a party to arrest, courtroom, and hospital. It was an impactful performance, as our students took in the hard realities of lives broken by bad decisions.
However, we left the program talking about the biggest surprise of the night: Tre Boston of the Arizona Cardinals, and graduate of North Fort Myers High, was waiting for us at the end of the program to encourage the students and share a bit of his own journey! The impression made on me, and I think our group as a whole, wasn't so much all the content that Tre shared (though he shared good stuff and gave Jesus credit, which is always a good thing in my book), but rather his enthusiasm and obvious delight to be with the students. Frankly, the message of no to drugs and partying is so often given from a threatening or reprimanding position that it's simply tuned out. How refreshing for our students to hear the message from someone who they could both identify with and who spoke as cheerleader for them. What a difference it makes to hear the truth from someone you believe is in your corner! Which perhaps is a good reminder for all of us: do the people who we lead and encourage and hope to build up believe we're in their corner?