It’s been 6 years since starting a beautiful friendship with the fine folks at the Denver Street School. I was privileged to photograph their graduation a few days ago. TEARS, a few GUT SOBS. So beautiful, such a picture of overcoming adversity! Some of these students I have seen bits of their stories over the years, coming from very dark and hopeless places. Some of them have shared their hearts and hurts with me through art projects, through music, through poetry.
And then God got them. And He gave them a future. He gave them the strength and the support in the amazing teachers to move forward. They graduated! Every high school graduation is a huge milestone, of course. It’s an end and a beginning, an accomplishment worth celebrating. But when you have a group of students who never in a million years thought they’d make it through school…who were told they couldn’t, or who were told that the streets were the only way of life available to them…there is something profound in the experience.
Watching my dear friend Kacy Lou was particularly moving for me, as well as seeing the other teachers and staff I have come to love dearly over these past 6 years. Kacy was a DSS student herself, and she has overcome dark things also. She was gotten by Jesus. And now she is with her students every day, in their trenches with them. Holding their babies while she grades their papers. Ugly crying over their sorrows. I know that being a teacher is a calling, and when we see particularly amazing teachers it is worth noting. Every. Single. One of these teachers is just that. They put themselves out there, they teach from the heart, and live the gospel in front of rooms full of teenagers.
Here’s a few of my favorites from the day: For more information on the Denver Street School and their incredible ministry in the area, visit their website at www.denverstreetschool.org
Oh, and here’s one on Kacy. Because I just love her.