Don’t Let Them Die
It’s time for you to join the movement and SPEAK IT FORWARD. Click to SEE OUR VIDEO and begin saving lives by saving VOICES.
(This post is about a SPECIAL PROJECT to put these “youth voices” on CD and get them distributed to help change the lives of others. Kickstarter (a company designed to help with fundraising for such a creative project) REFUSED to allow us to use their services because we have a CAUSE. They REFUSED. We were shocked. We called, e-mailed, spoke with tons of support staff and administrators, and…we were told they wouldn’t let us. SO WE WENT ROGUE and are doing it on our OWN…but we need you to join our movement.)
I (Kirk) was once told I would never amount to sh*t. Those were, in fact, the exact words said to me by my senior year high school Government teacher. In the midst of all my loss and hurt and pain. In fact, I was labeled “learning disabled” in middle school and I failed more classes than I would care to admit. And so when I left home, I LEFT. I wanted to abandon the old me, the angry me, the unintelligent me, the ugly me, the me that would never amount to sh*t. And though I tried, I never could. No matter how hard I ran, I couldn’t escape him. He is me. He is, in fact, the very reason I HAVE amounted to something. He is the one who gave me the strength to graduate at the top of my class in college. He is the one that picked me back up when I was kicked down and told I didn’t belong. He is the one who drove me to become a teacher to change the lives of my students. He is the one that gave me the strength to survive poverty to become a poet. He got me up in the morning and help me grind my teeth through the tears. HE IS ME. And today I realize that what were once seen as flaws are really my talents. And THIS is why I fight. This is why I still battle my way through life. It is who I am. It is what makes me sometimes terrible and other times beautiful. It is what helps me reach out every day to the unlikely and the damaged and tell them that not only are they wrong when they say they “won’t amount to sh*t”. But the exact opposite is most likely true. It was for me.
I cannot explain to you how far I’ve come or how many lives I have seemingly lived. But I can say that I may not have amounted to much, but it’s certainly more than sh*t. I’ve amounted to me. That’s been enough to get me up in the morning, believe in what I do and still smile at strangers.
And this is why it is important we value the voices of the beautifully broken youth we work with. They can be and are the unlikely talent pool that we have been so desperately in search of. These are the voices that can change the world. It is time to uplift the world, by giving a platform for their experiences. Help us get their stories onto CD and out into the world.
WE NEED TO RAISE $11,350 TO MAKE THIS A REALITY. BUT WE WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN NO MATTER WHAT!
CLICK THE BUTTON AND DONATE.
Hi, I graduated from high school at Kalamazoo Central 3 years ago…I just wanted to let you know that lately, whenever I need something empowering, I listen to your words. Since graduating I’ve moved to New York and I’ve been sharing your words and stories here and you’ve got many fans here now. I hope you’re both doing well, and I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you.-
…I was at Lakeside Academy and attended the classes that were put on by Speak It Forward. I loved and appreciated what you did for me and my fellow peers. It has been almost a year and a half since I left and I’m doing much better now. The things you taught me I still use to this day. Thank you.-
I still wear my shirt from your first performance downtown Kalamazoo. Circa 2006 or so… You guys are the TRUTH!!!-