SERVUS 2020: We’ve heard it a thousand times…. “We need to be reminded more than we need to be taught”
Every day, every moment is an opportunity to serve more, sacrifice often, and spread kindness into your world. It’s a chance, as John Norlin expressed, to be the person you may not be now, but who you want to be in the future.
I have the privilege of providing opportunities for young humans to learn how to be better, more intentional, caring, kind, incredible humans. And, in turn, as one of our speakers expressed, when we help and serve others, we get better.
I came to ServUs 2020 knowing I would love it, as I love everything servant-leadership and everything CharacterStrong. My hope was that my students would come away with something that would spark action. Something that would give them the desire to make change. Something that would hit them in their core. I was watching, looking, wondering what they were all thinking. Wondering what pebbles were turning to diamonds. And, as the day went on, we listened to some incredible stories. Stories of forgiveness. A young man, Chris Singleton, now age 23, being able to forgive the person who murdered his mother and eight other African Americans in the Charleston church shooting. He also taught us how a “simple, not small, act of giving someone a hug can save a life” (Kyle Wickline, NCHS student). A middle school teacher, Laura Handy-Nimick, who overcame her fears and became an ally for others. With no experience or expertise, she rallied her friends and family to start a non-profit to support the impoverished children of Nepal. She also challenged us to ask ourselves, “Who can I be an ally for in my life/community?” We heard from a panel of amazing people who reminded us to push ourselves to be better by lifting others up, and that “we have the choice to react with negativity or respond with positivity and forgiveness” (Lucas Colburn, NCHS Student). Rodell Razor challenged us to go after our dreams in a big way. He gave us a gut check when he said, “If you haven’t felt like quitting (on your dreams) yet, your dreams aren’t big enough.”
Being a long-time John Norlin supporter and CharacterStrong advocate, I couldn’t help but be most excited about hearing his message at ServUs. I was, again, observing my students after we returned from lunch in anticipation of their reactions as we waited for this incredibly wise human. I knew that his message would reinforce all that I teach in my ASB/Leadership classes. I was waiting to see their light bulbs go off. And, as we watched and listened, the thoughts of what my students would “get out of the message” faded quickly when John shared the story about the 100 year-old question that was asked in the New York Times, “What’s wrong with the world?” The one man’s response of, “I AM.”
Boy, talk about a “gut check.” I had to remind myself that I AM the only person I can change. I AM the one who benefits most from these opportunities. I AM the one who needs these messages. I AM the one who needs to improve my character. I AM the one who can make a difference in my own “little” world by intentionally and consistently taking actions EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. that shows care, kindness, and love towards others. What the “others” do with that is up to them. I need to show up and remember, “they know what the right thing to do is, they just need [me] to do it first.” (Norlin). I need to quit worrying if my students are “getting it” or what they’re getting out of it. When I eagerly choose to do the things I know are right and good consistently every day, I can “leave people better than I found them” (Norlin), and the rest is out of my hands. My BIG reminder from ServUs was to quit overthinking it and continue to build character habits in my life every day. The rest will fall into place. “If you build it, they will come.” (Field of Dreams)
Naudia Bosch is the Activities Coordinator, ASB Advisor, and Leadership teacher at North Creek High School (NCHS). She started out as a Special Education teacher in 2005 and in 2012 she had the opportunity to step into student leadership as a co-Activities Coordinator and ASB Advisor at Inglemoor High School. Once she dipped her toes into student leadership, there was no going back. She taught both ASB and Special Education up until this school year. In just their third year of being opened, NCHS has doubled their ASB student enrollment, and now Naudia teaches full-time ASB and Leadership classes. With her background in special education and also being an Air Force veteran, Naudia instills equity, inclusion, service, and sacrifice in every aspect of her teaching. She works diligently with her students to create an ASB program that has servant-leadership at the core, and strives to show all students, staff, and community members that step onto campus that they are valued, cared for and loved.