By Jennifer Morrison
Dear Pops the Club Students,
We absolutely HATE that you are here. We loathe it actually. We detest that anyone as awesome as you has ever had to walk through our doors carrying the burden of “tough stuff” with you. It’s not fair. You know it and we know it. We both wish things could be different. We want to come into your lives armed with a magic eraser and get rid of all the mess you have. We don’t want to have to run a club for students affected by incarceration. We like art and flower arranging clubs, heck even clubs about motorcycles and sports are better than clubs about prison, right?
But in the same breathe, we LOVE that you are here. Your smile, your participation and your resilience astound us. We love that you come to us vulnerable, yet not afraid to share your deepest and darkest dirt. What you don’t realize is that when you share your challenges, you give others the opportunity to let some of their own challenges go. You have so much strength in your own stories and you don’t even know it. You are spreading hope to each and every one of us. We learn from you every day. Your presence in POPS has created a family within our school walls that is precious and important.
We love that we have an opportunity to be your advisor, and most importantly, your friend.
We want you to know that we admire you. We think that these experiences you have been a part of are going to mold you into adults that are compassionate and aware of others’ feelings and circumstances. We know that you have taken ahold of your pain and turned it into positive energy; and that you are going to put it out into the world for others to benefit from. We see you all growing in amazing ways. Your stories touch us. Sometimes we cry with you and sometimes we wait till we get home to cry your tears. We laugh with you because you bring us joy amongst the sorrow we share. Sometimes we don’t always know the right things to say, but we always listen. We always leave our meetings hopeful for your future because you have no bigger cheerleader than us.
We want you to know something else. We struggle too. Please don’t think that because you are a teenager with these circumstances in your life, that you are the only ones. Adults have problems too. We share the same dreams, goals, sorrows and challenges. We are all walking down the same road, and we are thankful that we get to join you in this journey.
We want to thank you POPS club students for everything you have given to us. Every week we prepare a meal to share with you and in return you fill our hearts with connection and purpose. I couldn’t think of a better club to be a member.
We HATE that we LOVE POPS as much as we do…but it’s true. Thank you for sharing your lives with us. Never stop speaking up, speaking out and telling your truth. Never be ashamed to share that prison is part of your story. It’s part of our story too.
We LOVE you.
Your Proud POPS Club Advisors
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