Dear CPN…

Written by Tami Barlow

On July 25, 2016

Dear Charleston Promise Neighborhood,

It’s hard to believe that this year has come to a close.  We have had the wonderful opportunity to meet some amazing people in our  Charleston community.  Our year of service was spent developing relationships and a greater understanding for those who are near and dear to our hearts.

We can remember coming to Charleston last July and driving around learning about our neighborhood schools.  We toured Mary Ford, Chicora, Sanders-Clyde, and James Simons.  Each school was so unique and had their own personality.  We soon learned to love each one and their uniqueness.  Over the course of the year, we worked closely with the site coordinators and most importantly, bonded with the children.

Through the afterschool program, we were able to spend time one-on-one with numerous children through tutoring and enrichment.  We were also able to participate as reading partners which allowed us to form close relationships with our students even more.  Through this program, both of our students were able to achieve their grade levels in reading by the end of the year.  We are forever grateful for these times and hope to see these children as they take on the world.

Charleston Promise allowed us to grow personally and professionally.  We are now able to walk away with experience in education and working in a non-profit.  This was a huge advantage since both of us come from a background in biology.  It was amazing to see the overlay between the scientific field and the education sector.  We hope that we can take these experiences and bring a new perspective to our future endeavors.

As we leave this season, and journey on to the next stage in life, we hope to take these memories with us.  We hope to have left an impact on the community we served and this organization.  We will always remember this time as a period of growth, maturity, and gratitude for our neighbors.  We truly believe that our students will be the example of transformation within a generation.

-Bree Williams and Ashton Basar