And I’ll Rise Up

Seth Building Kites with our Students

“You’re broken down and tired of living life on a Merry-Go-Round, and you can’t find the fighter, but I see it in you so we gonna walk it out.” In the words of Andra Day, there is a fighter in all of us. July marks my two year mark as the Academic Program Manager for Maple Lake Academy. I am amazed at the people I have met and the good work that happens here. Our school program values progress over perfection and process over product. We value the human spirit and the fight in our students.

For the last two weeks I have spent a large amount of time with our students, talking with them, observing them and feeling the strength and power they truly have. I am grateful for a place that fosters strength, accountability and the pursuit of mastering our own destiny. I sat on the stair steps at the boys campus as one of our students eloquently advocated for his academic needs. He was specific and detailed. As I was listening to him, I was thinking how far he had come and how much he has learned to rise up for himself.

Whether our students are learning about the hydrologic cycle, algebraic expressions or building kites, each one has a fighter in them. Each student rises up to meet the challenges of the day. Each student is supported by scaffolding in the form of teachers, mentors, staff and therapists. These are the people who “walk it out” with each and every student in our program.

The family is an integral part of this process and without the family, we would not be as successful. Thank you for rising up and working the program with us. Thank you for your trust and commitment. Thank you for being a fighter with us.

“And I’ll rise up,

I’ll rise like the day,

I’ll rise up,

I’ll rise unafraid.

I’ll rise up,

And I’ll do it a thousand times again.”

Andra Day 2015

Jolyn Mitchell

Academic Program Manager

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