Julie Driggs

"Be comfortable with the uncomfortable" - that's what empowerment is to me. And Prenda has empowered both my microschool and myself in so many different ways.

Empowerment can be letting yourself shine with your natural talents in the arts, sports, or academics OR not seeing success in one of those categories, but choosing to try again and again anyway. Empowerment can be just showing up. These are just snapshots of some of the challenges that my ten students overcame this year. I feel self-conscious sharing this.

Still, the most incredible story of empowerment that I witnessed was what I experienced in myself.

Instead of allowing others to take the reins of my children's education, I got involved guiding it.

It would have been MUCH easier to let someone else do it. . Getting my house to a state of cleanliness each day where other kids could come for school took more discipline than I'm used to. It would have been much easier to keep my house to myself. It's tough for me to speak my mind and stick to my boundaries, but guess what I did...

I spoke up more.

Instead of continuing to tell myself, "I'm not good at ____," I'm getting in the habit of thinking, "I can get better at _____," because I want the same attitude to be reflected in my kids and my students. . Today was the last day of school. We had several students in tears because they didn't want school to end. I'm in tears for a different reason - I'm grateful that I accomplished what I set out to do in creating a healthy learning space for ten kids in the community.

I've always looked up to good teachers, and now I get to experience the joys of being a part of a child's learning journey. I'm more comfortable with being uncomfortable, and that feels empowering!

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