The world often makes the children of immigrants feel invisible and powerless. They face barriers because of language, culture, and race. They see parents, relatives, and friends detained and deported without warning. They attend underfunded and overcrowded schools. And the stresses of poverty often leave them few options in life.
From living and working with them for a decade, we know firsthand the courage, resilience, and sense of community that often goes unseen in these lives. As we approached our ten-year anniversary, we wanted to center our students and staff and give them a chance to shine.
So we gathered at a banquet with new and old friends. We shared a meal cooked by a chef who lives in our community, listened to songs about our neighborhood, and interviewed our staff.
The centerpiece of our celebration was a play performed by Presencia students. They performed excerpts of “You’re a good man, Charlie Brown” to a lively and appreciative audience. Sitting with a diverse community to laugh, cheer, and applaud them was one of the most moving and satisfying experiences of our life here. Our young neighbors had a chance to be seen, praised, and encouraged.
The dinner guests, hosts, sponsors, and patrons responded to the celebration with amazing generosity. We were able to raise over $41,000 toward the ongoing work of Presencia!
To all who have supported us over the last ten years, and to those who gave, volunteered, and invited others to make this event such a success, Thank you!
As our relationships and impact deepen over the next ten years, as we equip more of our neighbors to lead with love, we’ll mark this season as one where our work began to bloom.