At the gala on Thursday, November 10th, five WITS students gave us reason to feel hope and optimism about the future, as we honored Sara Speer Selber, an extraordinary community leader.
High school senior Jadon shared how friendship transcends boundaries of race, “You remind me what it means to be a proud contradiction.” 8-year old, Rhea, shared how WITS has helped her find confidence: “I’m a bird that’s already hatched. / I don’t have wings yet. They’ll grow.” Then 8-year old Aaron, a dialysis patient at Texas Children’s Hospital, made us laugh with his story about a pet lion named after Michelle Obama. His positive spirit in the face of obstacles brought us to tears. Ashley Turner, daughter of Mayor Sylvester Turner, introduced our new Youth Poet Laureate, Fareena Arefeen. “Slowly, I came to understand that poetry is more open and available than I gave it credit for. Poetry wasn’t just the esoteric words in my school textbooks; it was alive and real and right there,” she said, reminding us that writing isn’t just for poets, it’s for everyone.
On behalf of everyone at WITS, I want to extend a special thanks to our gala chairs, Mitra Woody and Ryan Leach, and our Auction Chair, Beth Bernal. This was the most successful fundraiser in the history of WITS. Your contributions last night provide 3,740 kids with the opportunity to write this year. Because of you even more underserved children will be free to be articulate and empowered by language.
The change you created in just one night will resonate with these kids for their entire lives.
Thanks and all my best,
Robin Reagler, PhD