October News from Jen Ramming, Co-founder and Director

Open Doors School of Thought

There was a fight at Asheville High; it wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last, but what impressed me about this event was that OpenDoors volunteers heard about it even before my son who was on campus did, and we were able to contact one of the kid’s parents immediately and circle that child in crisis with our intentional community. This was possible because of students looking out for other students and having the ability and courage to contact responsible adults in their lives whom they know they can trust.

This scene likely could not have played out this way last year when we only had one student at AHS, but OpenDoors is growing fast and this Fall we are working with many OpenDoors students at Asheville High who are trying, each in his own way, to succeed. Some have academic challenges, some social, all struggle with home life and neighborhood pressures, but they each show up at school each day and want to learn. Even if they don’t act like it.

One boy was caught cheating on a quiz. We realize that if he didn’t care about his grade or about graduating he would have just blown it off, but he was under pressure to stay in his honors classes, and he made a mistake. A teen student, mother to a baby, refused to give up her phone when caught using it in class, but thanks to the insight and extra effort of a caring teacher, she was pulled into counseling and we realized that her phone was her lifeline that day because she had very recently become homeless and was seeking support throughout the day. She had nowhere to go once she got off the bus that afternoon.

Our job as a united community is to read between the lines of defiance for cries for help, not look for opportunities for punishment. We strive to find a way to encourage, and hold accountable, but not shame. A child doesn’t have to cheat if he has mastery of the material, and when he has mastery of the material he can feel successful and can help someone else. Please consider becoming a teen mentor or tutor and contact us through our website at www.opendoorsasheville.org.

There are many ways you can invest in a child and strengthen our community.
Please join us!

Thank you,