One day, six years ago, I was standing at the Deep Root Center table at the Canton Farmers' Market in the Canton Village Park, talking to people about DRC, as they passed by. I was feeling more than a little intimidated by the entire process, mainly because a) I am an introvert, and b) I was still in the process of developing the language to describe why DRC exists, how we provide services, and what we are.
I will always remember the one guy who walked up while I was talking to another family and asked, "so what is your agenda?" To say that I was startled by the question would be putting it mildly. I looked at him and said, "I (we) don't have one." He looked back at me with what I can only describe as contempt, and said, "everyone has an agenda," and walked away. That one, seemly, inconsequential encounter has stuck with me - it felt like he was accusing me of being there with, nefarious, intent - for "drumming up business" and hawking DRC for other reasons besides what was clearly visible to anyone who passed by.
Today, after six years of being completely immersed in doing what we do (working with more than 100 young people), and talking about it, I would be able to say that, "yes, we do have an agenda." Although, it doesn't have the negative connotation that he was implying.
Deep Root Center exists solely because all young people deserve a safe, educational environment where they feel trusted and heard - and where they are free to explore all the possibilities. Because, learning can only happen when kids intuitively understand that they are safe, heard, and trusted to make decisions, make mistakes, and explore all their interests to achieve their ever-evolving aspirations.
In the simplest possible terms, we are here to help any child, along with their family, opt-out of traditional schools to dive deeply into the subjects and themes they are curious about, seek out opportunities that excite them, and build their future. It is, indeed, an agenda - one that we can be, profoundly, proud to explain to anyone who asks.
Join us this coming Saturday, August 22nd, to build a lean-to in the DRC backyard. It will provide shelter this Fall for the majority of our activities and projects this Fall - during this age of COVID. All skill levels welcome!