Cynthia is a volunteer with Something New whose heart to serve is driven by her love for teaching. In this time of travel bans and uncertainty, Cynthia roles out her classroom’s welcome mat everyday hoping to provide a safe place for her students. She contributed this Blog.
I have hope. Despite the heart-wrenching, divisive talk happening every day across our country, I have to believe we are so much better. Just step into my classroom and you’ll see why.
I teach some of the best people I know—incredible people who have lived through impossibly hard circumstances but who hold on to hope for a better world. I teach adults (mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, big brothers and sisters) who are learning English—but who really are learning an entirely new culture, new way of life. They teach me about courage and hope every single day.
My students are undocumented and documented. Muslim and Christian and Buddhist and religions I know little about but want to understand better. They are fleeing war and poverty, hardship and struggle. Others left good lives back home to pursue something even better. Some have never attended school before; others hold PHDs in their home countries.
But you’d never know any of that. If you visited, you’d think everyone had always been friends. It’s amazing how easily they accept and appreciate each other. You can be rich, poor, gay, straight, young or not so young, devoutly religious or atheist…and accepted all the same.
When I step in my classroom, I’m at home. I like to call us the United Nations of Atlanta. This is our America—the way it should be!