Why Do You Do What You Do?

On Saturday, September 26th we had the pleasure of hosting the inaugural St. Louis Alumni Symposium. One of our esteemed keynote speakers was Kelly Garrett, Executive Director of KIPP St. Louis. During his captivating talk, he asked the alumni and corps members in the crowd, “why do you do what you do?” He then went on to tell his journey and ground us in the reasoning behind why he does the work that he does in our community. At the end of the talk, participants were given the change to write down on a note card their answer to that simple yet profound question: why do you do what you do?

I had the opportunity to read through some alumni and corps member answers, and I was struck by the passion and commitment I saw to our kids and community:

  • Because I believe all children deserve the opportunity to attend a school that loves them, challenges them, and believes in them.
  • Because all children should have teachers that challenge them and believe in them.
  • Because every child has the right to accomplish their dream.
  • Because I believe in the positive potential of all young people.
  • To ensure that everyone affected by a decision has a voice in the process.
  • Because every kid deserves the opportunity to be great.
  • Because ALL kids matter!
  • To move society forward.
  • So that all kids live in a more just and equitable society.
  • Because kids are the key to change and it’s my calling. God has called me to do this.
  • To create a better tomorrow for our kids!
  • Because people matter.
  • Because we all deserve to experience revolutionary love.
  • To be me and to help others be able to be them.
  • Make an impact.
  • Because change needs to happen on all levels.
  • Because reading is fun.
  • To be proof positive for students who look like me.
  • Because every kid deserves choices about their lives and their future.
  • Because everyone has a story to tell & they deserve to share it.
  • Because I want all kids in STL to live in a community where they are supported to pursue their dreams.
  • Because our kids deserve better.
  • Because it is necessary.
  • Because STL needs to better for every child that lives here.
  • Because I love working with my students every day.
  • Because if I didn’t, who would? To right a wrong.
  • I Believe oppression should be opposed.
  • Because I want the world to be a better place.
  • Because somebody did it for me.
  • Because everyone can love learning.
  • Because the world is a better place when everyone has the opportunity to fully share their gifts.
  • To help close the exposure gap & provide access to opportunities.
  • Because numbers are powerful and matter.
  • Because every child deserves the right to a future they choose.
  • Because I love my kids.
  • Because with privilege comes responsibility.
  • Because our kids deserve opportunity and choice.
  • Because we make the path by walking.
  • Because 1 in 10 is an injustice.
  • Because my future Doctor, Financial Planner, President is in my classroom
  • Because I had the opportunity for an excellent education, I want this for my own children.

Thinking forward to the 25th Anniversary Summit, I challenge you to ask yourself why do you do what you do. Come join members of our community from around the country who all have a passion for educational equity, and have the opportunity to  re-ground yourself in why you do what you do.

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