Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mrs. Barbara Bush comes to Yellowstone

We had the privilege of having Mrs. Barbara Bush come out to Yellowstone today. It was such a neat experience. Mrs. Bush wrote a letter to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders a few weeks ago challenging each one of them to write an essay with the topic "The Sky's the Limit." Each student wrote an essay writing about what they wanted to be when they grew up, and the sky was the limit. It was so neat seeing what each of the kids came up with. Our third graders worked so hard on their essays. After they were all completed, Mrs. Bush read each one and then chose a winner from each grade. Today she came and not only presented these 3 winners with an award, but also brought along a children's theater group that performed parts from "The Beauty and the Beast"

Finally, she presented the three awards. She began with the 3rd grade winner, and we had no idea which student had won. She began reading a little bit from the essay, and said that this child wanted to be an artist, and then said his name. Torrean Washington, one of our students who has come so far since he has been at Yellowstone Academy. He walked up on stage, and Mrs. Bush hugged him as their picture was snapped.

Torrean was the perfect student to have received this award. While Torry was in the womb, his mother abused alcohol and drugs (including cocaine). Torry first came to Yellowstone as a 2nd grader last year and that is when our journey began with him. This was his 3rd time to be in the 2nd grade, and you can imagine the challenges he faced with this reality. Torry does not know who is father is, he is one of 7 children, and his mom, who has been sober and clean for a year this May, has been in a out of jail several times. Torry has faced so many trials that no one should ever experience, and he has been through the worst of the worst at his young age of 10. Torrean was blessed with the gift of art. He is an incredible artist, and it comes so naturally for him. When he is in the midst of a meltdown, he will escape with a pencil and a piece of paper. He is such a special student who has been brought from such a low place to a place of confidence and self worth, which is so important for our children to experience. He deserved this award more than any other student, and I am so proud of the progress he has made over the past 2 years.

Here are some pictures from today. I had to use my phone so I apologize for the lack of quality...

1 comment:

lindsey fusch said...

YAY for Torry!!!

The drawing he made of me is still hanging on my refrigerator..I think of him often!

What a blessing!