by Maria Corse
Respect yourself, each other, and this space is the one guideline that we request each youth at Deep Root Center utilize when they take responsibility for their education and their life by joining the DRC community. Each student is presented with multiple occasions, everyday, to take action on that core philosophy. These decision making opportunities, as our students are discovering, run the gamut from mundane to profound, with either positive or negative impacts, that can change lives. Recognizing that the full significance of each option may not always become apparent until after the fact, the acrostic below employs words that can help each individual make choices that are favorable for themselves, as well as the broader spectrum of all humanity.
Community: Use your talents and brilliance to do meaningful work for the good of everyone.
Holistic: Involve your mind, body, and spirit in the whole process.
Open: The world is full of amazing opportunities. Contemplate each one with objectivity.
Initiative: Take responsibility. Be the leader; use kindness and compassion as your guide.
Collaboration: Cooperate and share with others to make life better (easier) for everyone.
Enjoyment: Love what you do and live life to the fullest.
Support: Empower others to make affirmative decisions. Pay it forward!
Staff Road Trip
André and I traveled to Amherst, MA this past Friday to visit North Star, the inspiration and model for DRC and the other Liberated Learner Centers. We spent several hours talking to North Star members and staff and participated in their community meeting. Thank you to Loran, Ellen, Jon, and the North Star teens for hosting us and answering our many questions!
North Star currently has sixty plus student members and this is their 20th anniversary year. Last summer, they moved to a brand new building outside of Amherst in Sunderland, MA. Their student members, like DRC students, are involved in group classes, one-on-one tutorials, socializing, internships, and independent projects.
North Star members also have the opportunity to become deeply engaged in their community through activism and social justice trips. Several students were leaving, as we arrived at their building, to participate in a Fossil Fuel Divestment demonstration at UMASS Amherst.
Some also recently traveled to Washington DC to work at soup kitchens and food pantries. They were also honored to meet with their Congressional Representative on the Capitol steps. These teens are taking charge of their education in ways that serve themselves and the wider world.