Mr. Christopher Goes to Washington

A little over a year ago, our family had to move a little bit east, where my daughter would still be able to attend the same middle school but my son would no longer be able to finish his 5th grade year in the only elementary school he's known. He didn't want to switch schools, but there was simply no way we would be able to get him to and from his old school every day, so we enrolled him a different school that isn't as nice as his old school. He dreaded starting at this new school, but I told him it would only be for one year and he'd see his old friends again in 6th grade when he goes to middle school. Besides, I told him, everything happens for a reason. You'll probably be the smartest kid in this school.

While he didn't take to the new school too well, he still made some new friends quickly. He was able to focus on his school work and I haven't had to get on him about getting his homework done, whereas in 4th grade he struggled a bit in this area. After a couple of months he came home from school and said, "I'm the smartest kid in my school. A teacher came up to me and told me that, and she isn't even my teacher."

While every parent believes their children are the best, smartest, greatest kids, I acknowledged to him that I wouldn't be surprised if that's true but I never made a big deal of it. He tested back into the Gifted program (he was in the gifted class at his old school but when they transferred his records they didn't include that, but I didn't mind because I figure it'd help his self-esteem being placed somewhere that he could excel and feel smarter). The other day I came home from work and checked the mail. I saw a strange, thick envelope with a gold seal on it that was addressed to my son.

"Dear Parent,

Based on his academic achievement and demonstrated leadership potential, your son, Raymond, has been nominated to attend the Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC), an Envision program to be held this summer, 2016, in Washington, DC.

Raymond was nominated by his teacher, Educator Jhanel Davis, who recognizes him as a student with the scholstic merit, maturity, and strength of character needed to represent Village Elementary School at this unique leadership program. Congratulations on Raymond's achievements! ..."

So this is where this campaign comes in. Tuition for the week-long conference is $2,095. This does not include transportation nor extra expenses such as souvenirs. I plan on traveling with him and taking my daughter along, too, as she would be home alone all week otherwise and she's long wanted to visit Washington, DC. 

We have to enroll by May 6, 2016. We plan on making a $499 deposit by deadline of March 31, 2016, and then we can make two payments of $832.50 each - one by ay 1, 2016 and the other by June 1, 2016.

As a parent, this is more than just a unique opportunity for my child. This is a chance for him to learn an important life lesson, that sometimes just because things don't seem to be going the way we'd like them doesn't mean that they're not working in our favor. Because he didn't complain about switching schools, as much as he dreaded the thought. But had he not switched schools he likely wouldn't have had this door open up for him. He's 11 years old now, will be starting middle school in August. Help build a strong foundation and belief in this young man that when one door closes, another, even better door will open, 

Junior National Young Leaders Conference
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Pete Christopher 
Fort Lauderdale, FL

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