“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” Billy Graham
A MESSAGE FROM FOUNDER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CYNTHIA BRIAN
The day I graduated from CAL Berkeley was a momentous occasion. As I walked across the stage in my cap and gown to receive my diploma, the realization that I was the very first person in my family to go to college was history-making. Being farmers, my parents did not have the money to send any child to college. But I was determined and they encouraged me to find a way to finance the dream. From the time I was eight years old, I raised chickens and sold the eggs, carefully saving every penny to achieve my goal of a university education. Throughout my college years, I worked full time at a variety of jobs to pay for food, books, rent, tuition, and everything necessary to survive. Going to college was the best investment of my life.
When it came to parents, I hit the golden jackpot. Living on a farm, we didn’t have many material possessions but my parents bestowed so much love and confidence on their five children that we always felt like the richest people in the world. It was my Dad that build the chicken coop so that I could venture on my higher educational ambition. It was my Dad that shined his bald head so that i could confidently look out at the audience as i strolled across that stage and, seeing his bald head know how much I was loved. It was my Dad that cried when he walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. It was my Dad that upon his deathbed comforted me by saying “My end is your beginning.” My Dad always was and will always be my hero.
June is the month to celebrate educational milestones from pre-school to graduate schools. It takes work, perseverance, and support to graduate.
June is also the month to honor the magnificent men in our lives that have nurtured us to be the people we are today.
Congratulations to graduates everywhere and thank you to the fathers who have made so much possible.
We honor you.
And remember, every day is a new beginning. Never give up on your dreams!
Be the Star You Are!®
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
Two Teen Poets Honor Dads
Ruhani Chhabra and Sharanya Roy are two young volunteers with Be the Star You Are!®
that we lovingly call “our resident poets!” They both created a short film with original poetry for the Earth Gratitude Festival and today, share their insights on fatherhood.
Read their complete poems at http://www.btsya.com/resources
A Father’s Love
by Ruhani Chhabra
a father’s love is subtle yet strong,
captured in the nighttime shadows
as he waits for his little girl to come home,
the kitchen clock ticking with the reminder time has passed
since those early days soaked with white sunlight,
when she’d giggle deliriously on his secure shoulders.
he’d take her to soccer practice and sleepovers,
attend recitals that he found less enjoyable than his wife did.
he wiped blood from her knee
when she first learned to ride a bike,
and the wound hurt him more than her.
he was greeted with gleeful cries with his presence,
in the evening when he came home exhausted
but he was never too tired to gather her in his arms.
she didn’t realize it then,
but he was never to remain so strong and unbeatable,
her father was really just a man,
a man in the nighttime shadows,
whose lower back ached from age
and eyes drooped from sleep he didn’t allow;
only the confirmation that his daughter
was safe could propel him into
a relaxed rest.
her father was only a man,
built from his childhood dreams
and shaped by how the world treated him
just like everyone else.
(continued at http://www.btsya.com/resources)
BTSYA volunteer, Ruhani Chhabra is passionate about creative writing and has been exploring her craft since she was very young. At the age of ten, she published her first book, The Karris Family. Since then, she’s been nationally and globally recognized for her short stories, poems, personal essays, and dramatic scripts. Through being a reporter and host at Express Yourself! Teen Radio, she hopes to become more interactive with people. Her focus is on teen leadership and her segment is titled, Teenship. www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com
My Favorite Superhero
Superheroes are everywhere,
In TV shows, movies, books,
But the world can’t see the superhero who can’t fly,
Jump over buildings,
And read everybody’s mind.
This superhero has a fascination for groceries,
And would buy a house inside of Safeway,
This superhero would sleep and procrastinate,
This superhero only reads weird non-fiction or self-help books,
Which have SAT level vocabulary.
He doesn’t wear capes,
Or a Spandex Suit,
With cool graphics displayed everywhere,
In fact all he wears are jeans and T-shirts,
With a pair of thin-wired glasses set on his face.
His name isn’t a household name which is mentioned all the time,
Nobody knows him with a cool and unique name,
Like “Iron Man” or “Spiderman”,
His real name is quite simple and is often mispronounced,
And his superhero alias is one word with two repeating syllables,
Words uttered from a baby’s mouth.
He is my favorite superhero because he is always there to save the day,
Whether it is with his very passionately cooked dishes,
Or instant math help,
He is always there to cheer me on,
And even if he physically doesn’t save the nation from doom,
His soul lights up the earth’s very core.
BTSYA volunteer, Sharanya Roy enjoys writing and to her, each sentence has a life of its own. She loves the sound of the keyboard clacking, as well as the scrick of a pencil. In her Express Yourself™ teen radio segment, “The Scribble” Sharanya strives to change how teens look at writing, as writing isn’t just essays, but a vast ocean of new techniques and ideas. She wants to unwrap more methods of writing with other teens, and help writing to be an enjoyable experience for all. www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com
OUR FUTURE HEROES
by Karen Kitchel
Graduating from Kindergarten can be one of the first steps to a long journey down the road of kindness. This was the fifth year as a volunteer at Partnership Academy where I was thrilled to see the expressions of pure joy on these amazing kids and their families. I’m convinced they will be our future heroes.
Congratulations to all graduates!
Karen Kitchel who penned two chapters in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, is the Kindness Coordinator volunteer with BTSYA. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. www.scatteringkindness.com
MEET OUR NEWEST EXPRESS YOURSELF! TEEN REPORTER
Keerthi Eraniyan, a budding philosopher who embodies the quintessence of everything and anything. She is a 7th grader from San Ramon, California, whose pastimes include debate, math, writing, and singing. Her ruminations involve the gradual extinction of humans, and she can be seen engulfed in an existential crisis. She relishes debate, the fickle thing that blitzes her fingers and propels her through life at the speed of light. In her segment, Nerd Extraordinaire, Keerthi strives to promulgate and publicize the extravagance of forensic debate and fiction writing and exhibit the world beyond plug and chug speech. She desires to introduce the debate world to listeners in a fascinating, magnificent, new way that manifests the air of debate, thick with spontaneous comebacks and the pure thrill of it.
· Listen to her first broadcast at Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/137873/summer-plans
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HAPPY FATHER’S TO THE FABULOUS DADS
CONGRATS GRADS! WAY TO GO!
Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556