What I do (Part 2/3)

Coordinating Volunteers/Special Events

As I mentioned in the last “what I do” post, one of the other things I get to do is coordinate volunteers and special events from time to time.  One of my favorite events of the year so far was over the school’s Spring Break.  We had 20 students travel 16 hours in a bus from Howard University in Washington DC (one of THE top Historically Black Universities in the country) come spend their spring break putting on a tutoring camp at the school.  I would like to point out the impressiveness of this – in case you missed it, I said we had 20 college kids that chose to spend their Spring Break tutoring elementary school students instead of…what college kids “normally” do on spring break (see below).


Wild and crazy spring breakers

 Let me also point out that that the 20 we had here were not duds – these were incredible, talented people whom I fully expect to see changing the world 10-15 years from now.

I started each day with a discussion on different topics pertaining to the work being done that week (education reform, community development, when helping hurts, etc). I was moved by these discussions each day – it blessed my soul to hear from and learn from people with different upbringings and backgrounds than me.

The highlight of the week for me was came on our first day – the first student to arrive was one of my favorites, and it was his birthday – the welcome they gave him was unplanned, yet will be unforgettable for him – here’s a 30 second video of it.

One final note – one of the most incredible things about the week was the impression our kids left on the Howard Students.  EVERY Howard student walked away amazed at the intelligence, resilience and swagger of our kids, while EVERY one of our students walked away with a new role model who looked like them and is excelling at the highest level of academics. It made me SO proud for people from outside Memphis to see how much our kids and our community have to offer.

We finished the week with a big workday in the Carpenter St Art Garden and Carpenter St Community Garden.  Can’t stop thinking about the impact made that week on both the Howard AND Cornerstone students and the hope of how much more we could do next year with ANOTHER Howard group back (I’m looking at you, Howard Students)!

Here’s a few pictures from the week:


Wood tiles made by Howard/Binghampton students – these hang on the fence of the garden.


IMG_5124 IMG_5175

Students took wood scraps from another project and rearranged them to spell “Binghampton.” Our kids are now working on filling in the background with paint-handprints.

The Howard/Cornerstone Alternative Spring Break Squad

Our garden construction crew

Learn more about Howard’s Alternative Spring Break here, here or here.


2 thoughts on “What I do (Part 2/3)

  1. Love what you guys are doing in Memphis! Found your blog through Rebekah’s. Ya’ll need to connect with the Stanley family in Atlanta. Their hearts/vision are so similar to yours! http://thestanleyclan.blogspot.com/ They run Blueprint 58 which is a non-profit mentoring program focused on the Adair Park and Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Atlanta. They bought and renovated a foreclosed house in the neighborhood and are doing amazing things by simply, “loving their neighbors”! Great couple! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blueprint-58/162588783793424?fref=ts

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