Something special happens at the Promising Futures Ceremony each year. Anyone who has ever attended knows that it has a very different feel compared to other BBBS events. This event is quietly honoring our eligible promisees and our high school graduates, recognizing their accomplishments each year.
This year’s ceremony was in a perfect venue: Huston-Tillotson University. This was an opportunity for many of our little’s to be exposed for the first time to what it is like to be on campus at an institution of higher learning. The welcoming presentations were genuinely warm and inspiring, focusing on the hard work and sacrifices from the families and the efforts of Bigs as mentors in helping our littles succeed, recognizing the kids themselves, and finally a personal testimony from a former little sister (Dr. Andrea Campaigne), who later became a Big Sister, and how those relationships helped to shape her and how her awareness of the importance of a college education from the very beginning made a huge difference for her. Listening to the brief presentations certainly led me to think about my own mentors and choices in life, and hopefully those present at the ceremony felt that on some level, too.
There are so many ways to measure a successful event, and I think what makes this event special is getting to see the students shine. When their name is called, they have their moment in front of each other and those in attendance, to celebrate their accomplishment. It is such a pleasure to watch them, each with their own individual style as they walk across the stage, each special in their own way – such a hopeful sight!
It feels good to be in the room with these students and their families. The BBBS Promising Futures Scholarship Program is something to be proud of- there are not many scholarships that do not care what your income or grade point average is, or whether you can write a clever essay. It only asks a student to make a promise – to succeed in school and recognize the potential of education as a meaningful path to being a successful person. The ceremony is a reminder that what we do matters, that mentoring can really work. By making good matches and by encouraging our matches to stay together, we can and do make a difference, and that difference can have a positive effect on their future, and on ours too.
Watch the event highlight video below. Thanks to L.M. Harter for donating her time and talent to create it: