Yesterday I was working on a video shoot at another program that is part of the RedCliff Ascent Family. I turned from Bill, the photographer, to see a student crossing the room towards me with a look of friendly surprise on his face.
“JJ!” he called. “*Jack?” I asked. (I changed the student’s name to protect his privacy.) He dropped his books on a nearby desk and gave me a hug. “I saw the camera and wondered if you guys were here,” he said with a grin.
I confess I had to do a double-take. Same height, same weight, same hair, but Jack was so much different than the last time I saw him at Oxbow. This time he had a smile that lit his entire face. He looked tan and happy. He still had his sketch book in hand (he’s a terrific artist) but he had a stack of school books as well. He says he’s doing well in school. He’s got a B average and plans to graduate from high school while attending the RedCliff program.
I asked about his parents and Jack said he’d just returned from a home visit about a month ago. “How did it go?” I asked. “Good,” he responded. “No problems. I’m doing good.” “You’d better,” I threatened him with a laugh. “That’s exactly what we’re expecting from you.”
It occurs to me that that is what Jack expects from himself. Good luck, my friend. Stay strong.