A seed can be planted and with adequate water and sunlight, it will begin to grow. Given proper nourishment and care, that same small seed can steadily take shape into something as magnificent as a magnolia, eucalyptus, or willow tree. However, no one can foresee the outcome of the development of a seed. No matter how diligently the seed is watched over, there is no predetermined course for its eventual shape. All that there is to hold on to is the hope that its roots and branches will be so healthy and strong that they will be able perpetuate the divine cycle of life.
The seed of College Bound was planted in 1990. At that time, all we were trying to do was navigate through the complicated waters of the college admission process. We could have not foreseen that, from a class of seven — which met around a dining room table — that College Bound would branch off to offer Saturday School, career awareness programs, academic and college advising, summer enrichment classes, and so much more. All we did was provide the students in 1991 with the knowledge, skill set, and information that we had to offer and merely hope that our efforts would make a positive difference in their lives. Today, we have an extensive alumni base that consists of attorneys, doctors, educators, engineers, etc. because we gave them a chance to soar.
While I pride myself on having the capacity to be visionary and think outside of the current moment of time, my optimism of College Bound’s future success was fueled by a hope embodied within luminary figures such as Fannie Lou Hamer and Mary McLeod Bethune. Through many long nights of prayers, hope was the spiritual foundation that supported College Bound’s growth and ability to thrive to this point. This hope is founded within the notion that one day the world will be vastly more equal, democratic, and just. While I recognize that we are far from that goal, I look upon College Bound students today and I see opportunities, skills, and the potential to far exceed the accomplishments of their 1991 counterparts.
Indeed, our young scholars have the ability to change the course of the world and affect societal growth in unimagined ways. As they continue to evolve, I urge them to hold fast to the lessons that they have learned through their development in College Bound. Not merely their mathematic or literature assignments, but rather the lessons that have taught the importance of community service, the value of the whole rather than the individual, and the respect that must given to those whose shoulders they stand upon. It is only through these lessons that the hope of a brighter future be realized. It is only through these lessons that seeds can be planted in order to provide life for tomorrow.