It’s been almost a week since the Ava’s Grace Taking Flight event. And I am still struggling to find the words to describe the feeling and the energy of the weekend.

I am a picture taker. To the max and to everyone’s annoyance usually. But Saturday I didn’t get many photos. First, I knew my man Riq was documenting the entire thing. But mainly because I wanted to soak in every single moment of that day – the people, the performance (SAUL PAUL!), the purpose. The sheer power of love that was in the room.

There are a lot of reasons why Saturday was so special and I won’t be able to clearly articulate them in this blog. So, what I will reiterate here that I put into the universe on Saturday is this – WE WILL surpass $1 million in committed scholarships next year. The St. Louis Public Radio story hinted at it but I am on a mission to make it so. WE WILL plan on a huge party in 2020 to celebrate our partner’s 100th Birthday and our 10th – ALL YEAR LONG. WE WILL keep moving – onward AND upward – because these kids and this cause have lit a fire in so many people I am not sure it can be harnessed at this point. We’ll do it together, as we always have, with the Family we’ve built upon Hope for the Future.

I am as energized and impassioned as I have ever been about the cause of breaking the cycle of incarceration through the gift of higher education. But that is only a mission statement. What that actually MEANS is that we are serving young people that possess more power and potential than they even are aware of when we meet them. We have the awe-inspiring gift of walking with them when they start to realize who they are and what they are capable of. It is a great honor of my life to be part of this.

Something about Saturday signaled to me that this is our time. 20-GR8-TEEN is only the beginning…

And in case you haven’t seen it – meet the Class of 2018.

With Gratitude and Hope for the Future,


Founder, Ava’s Grace Scholarship Program
Mom – CEO – Justice Warrior

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