Excel. Cry. Dance.

BUILD’s tagline is “Excel. Lead. Succeed.” but tonight it was more like “Excel. Cry. Dance.

Today was BUILD’s End of the Year Celebration. We first took the freshmen on an all-day field trip to see two colleges: San Jose State and Menlo College (from 9 am to 4:30 pm).

And then in the evening, all of the BUILD students gathered at the brand new East Palo Alto YMCA for a dance. My Incubator students were also going to have an Incubator Closing Ceremony in conjunction to this dance. This was the “second annual” Closing Ceremony, meaning that last year, the event was my little brainchild, and this year, I tried to make the students take ownership of the event so that others would follow suit. I organized our leadership team to take responsibility for some of the logistics: decorations, marketing, gifts, and MC-ing the event. It worked beautifully. Our two co-MC’s for the evening did such a wonderful job, our student speakers made people cry, and the awards hopefully motivated the students to do better. I can’t really sum up how I feel about what happened tonight, but I will say that I am relieved, satisfied and happy. Tonight when the students and mentors were thanking each other in our closing circle and when our students were giving their speeches, it really rejuvenated me and reminded me why I am doing the work that I am doing.

Recently I have been getting so tired and frustrated and being so extremely tired all of the time. April and May have been outrageously busy months because of the traveling (San Diego, Las Vegas, Boston, DC, Tracy, etc.), my relatives from the Philippines visiting for a month and a half, and just a lot more work to be done in BUILD. Over the past few weeks I kind of resigned myself to being really tired and bleh, and have been waiting for this month to be over. But I realize that I just needed a pick-me-up, a reminder, a hug and some validation for what I am doing. And in some senses, maybe I subconsciously planned this end of the year celebration so I could get that, so that other staff could get it, mentors could get it, and, of course, students could get it.

Well, I hope everyone got it because if they didn’t get it after tonight’s event, I do not know what else to do with them.

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