On Saturday, July 27th, my alarm went off much earlier than usual —6 a.m., to be exact. Even as my “sleeping mind” groaned, though, I quickly jumped out of bed. I knew that Saturday was going to be an exciting day because on that day, we officially welcomed 13 new Scholars and 13 new Sponsors into our program!
Our day started off hectic—unloading cars, finding DC parking, and getting situated in the Metropolitan Community Church of DC, which had graciously allowed us to use their beautiful church for the occasion. We had delicious food on its way from Bean Bag Deli & Catering, and Scholars and Sponsors started arriving early! It was so great to see each group start to talk amongst themselves and hear about the path that had brought each of them to Generation Hope.
I had the pleasure of facilitating the ice-breaker activity for the Sponsors, and the range of stories, occupations, and interest areas they shared with each other was incredible—doctors, lawyers, communications professionals, therapists, educators, and more are all represented in this class of Sponsors! Equally diverse is our new class of Scholars—they come from all over the DC metro region and are pursuing majors ranging from Nursing to Computer Science to Early Childhood Education to Criminal Justice. It was also wonderful to have two of our current scholars, Angeline and Marikit, and one of our current Sponsors, Angela, on hand to talk about their experiences and answer questions.
By far the most exciting part of the day was the big “reveal,” when each Scholar and Sponsor get to meet each other for the first time. Although I had had nightmares about awkward first meetings and unhappy matches, our careful matchmaking had indeed paid off, and the room was immediately full of excited hugs, introductions, and chatter. Watching these individuals who I had spent so much time matching on paper actually meet one another and start their mentoring journey was certainly one of the most rewarding aspects of my time with Generation Hope so far, and DEFINITELY worth getting up at 6am to see!