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Commencement at i.c.stars: Witnessing Transformation
Submitted by skastrul on 2012-10-12T13:13:56
Cycle 26 is the first cycle to commence at our new location. If you’ve never been to an i.c.stars commencement, then you definitely want to get yourself on the invitation list, because it is a profound, moving and humbling event. Commencement means the beginning of something new, and in every new beginning we reflect on where we’ve come from.
There was a lot of anticipation, but also a great deal of reflection and very tender moments throughout the organization. Cycle 26 was the cycle that moved with us from 212 West Superior to 415 North Dearborn. They were almost 100% drama free. They were independent, hungry, and worked with each other to make sure that everybody was on board and nobody was left behind. Every one of our staff members really enjoyed getting to know this group of people and seeing them grow into themselves in a way that was enlightening and powerful.
After the commencement, the wife of one of our new graduates came up to me and handed me a scroll tied up in a purple ribbon, just like a graduation diploma. She said, “This is for you.” I opened it and I was very moved.
It was a thank you letter talking about how the transformation at i.c.stars had affected the couple, and what she’d witnessed. Nowhere in this letter did it say anything about programming languages, databases, HTML or even the dreaded Joomla. It was about change.
I wanted to share some of it with you because I think it will touch you. It’s the testimonial of somebody who cares deeply and loves someone who went through a transformation at i.c.stars.
From the letter:
“I just want to say it very simple, but deeply sincere thank you, for sacrificing your time, energy and resources in order to change people’s lives. I am so happy to have witnessed the wonderful change of my husband during these four months. He transformed into a more confident, strong, standing person with an insatiable hunger for knowledge. There are so many people out there who will tell you that you can’t succeed, that you’re not good enough. And you taught my husband that what you have to do is turn around and say, ‘Just watch me.’ You made him, us, realize that life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain. Moreover, you taught him not to forget that success is not possible on your own and to remember that nobody makes it alone. He also learned that teamwork is the key to success, that it is so important to know your role and to fulfill it without complaining as well as appreciate and honor other people’s roles. Thus it is vital to always have a grateful heart and to be quick to acknowledge those who help you.
Now it’s time for both of us to acknowledge you and profoundly admit that due to your love, caring, patience and generosity, we stand strong, with hope so big that it barely fits in our hearts. And we are looking forward to a new chapter in our lives. We will all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go we will take a little of each other everywhere and we’re so grateful and lucky to take a part of you with us on our life journey. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
I’m truly moved and touched by this diploma. I think it absolutely captured the goal of every commencement at i.c.stars: to begin a new journey, and to create new growth in the pursuit of getting that much closer to our goal of a thousand community leaders by 2020.