“As a child, I felt powerless. I was frustrated and terrified at my family’s circumstances.

When my eighth grade English teacher became aware of my home situation, she pulled me aside one day and asked to talk after class. The conversation we had that afternoon changed my life.

‘No one can ever take your education away from you.’

She said this with a smile, though the intensity and seriousness of our conversation did not elude me.

‘Education is a powerful tool. We can have a lot taken away from us, things that we can’t control, but as long as we keep pursuing knowledge, we’re winning. Your education is how you take the life you have and make the life you want.’

She assured me that I would go far if I continued on the path that I was on.

Today, I am pursuing my Master’s in Education, majoring in psychological counseling at Columbia University. I believe that education is the most powerful tool we have in a world full of inequality and injustice.

I do not consider myself unlucky, despite all the challenges I face. After all, a diamond is really a piece of coal that survived intense pressure.”

– Kara Freise, SchoolHouse Connection Young Leader

SchoolHouse Connection creates opportunities for children and youth to make the lives they want — lives free of homelessness, and full of hope. Please consider a year-end donation. Thank you for your support!

P.S. You can learn more about the work your donation makes possible by reading our 2019 Year-in-Review.

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