By Alex Crowcroft
Hope is a resonant frequency we can all feel, something we can all relate to no matter how far away we think we are from it. I am constantly shown this beautiful power — hope — a notion I thought was lost to me forever. Simply put, this is because I stopped looking for it.
The College Guild provides something like this — an avenue for growth, a place to strive for more, to be better; and above all, the chance to learn.
"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for you then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn."
— T.H. White, The Once and Future King
To learn about ourselves, about others, about the power of connection, about something new. It is with great excitement that I write these words, as I have gotten to feel the power of this program firsthand. I am a reader for the College Guild — this means that I provide feedback for the many human beings trying to better themselves despite the situations they are currently in. To find motivation and hope in a place like prison is harder than we will ever know, so if we can provide that light to pull people towards their potential, then why wouldn't we do this!
You see, most people are not inherently good or bad, they have just never known any other way. The College Guild is providing another way. So by experiencing a College Guild unit of study with a student, one who is in prison, I have felt more connected with a sense of vulnerability through the creativity, personality, ingenuity, and overall excitement to learn that most people tend to hide away.
I can't say it enough, how refreshing this is, in a world that is content to remain stagnant in excess — the College Guild, the me, the us. We are taking this moment right now, to hold out our hand to each other — OUR fellow humans — in hopes they will reach back, and they do.
I found the College Guild by chance and it has become something I never knew I needed. A place to grow and learn and be excited about moving forward in a life we have the power to do something about.
I came into this experience with a notion that I wanted to be there for people that just need to know they matter. You matter! And now this has become so much more for me. Join me in creating the positivity we all want for ourselves and others. Let's be more, together.