Friday, February 10, 2012

Visit to Blanche Reynolds Elementary

Today I decided to visit to my old elementary school, Blanche Reynolds. I have not been back since the day the police and social workers came to pick me up from there 11 years ago. Principal Paul Jablonowski was so welcoming. He took the time to go through the history of class pictures to see what years I attended and who my teachers were. He then gave me special permission to take a tour of the school that was guided by none other than my preschool teacher, Miss Susman. During my tour I visited my old kindergarten classroom. I was asked to speak to two after school groups, who were both surprised to find out that I used to be homeless and were elated that I had gone to their current school when I was a young girl. Many of the children I was speaking with could relate to my childhood and were eager to ask questions about how I was able to survive. It is always a heart warming moment knowing that the little questions I am answering are providing these children with much needed hope and strength for them to endure the hardships that they face in their lives. Each child was more than excited to get a signed picture or autograph from Miss California International. In life it can be difficult to revisit the past and often it cause old memories to resurface. While I had been somewhat apprehensive to go back in time and visit my beginnings, I can honestly say that after seeing the look of adoration on the children's faces and hearing each of them share their dreams with me, I am more than glad that I did go back. Thank you to everyone at Blanche Reynolds for making my return visit so loving and memorable. And thank you Las Posas after school program for opening your doors and hearts to me as well. I am honored to have met each and everyone of you.

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