Laser Angel

Laser cut angel embedded in acrylic. This treasured angel was a gift to me from a young girl whom I met through an NGO and mentored from the eighth grade.

On our first visit we went to the Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage. It was not what I would call a great start. First, I got lost on the way there. Twice. Then the building was over airconditioned and we almost froze. But because she was polite even as she shivered, I was hooked.

Things got better after that. We cooked together (a good way to work on fractions) and I taught her to sew. She mended some jeans with appliqued hearts and we even sewed a dress for her prom. There were more successful performances – dance most often, but sometimes a movie or a play. She ate at my house. We had a birthday party for her and her crazy hula-hooping friends. We threw a dinner party for her large family – she planned and cooked the entire meal, even slicing the onions (which her sister refused to believe.) Once the family came for supper and we played dress up with costumes I had. You should see those pictures.

Last week this charming girl, who started out as my mentee and who is now my friend, graduated from college. Lots of people helped her along the way, but she was the one who made herself grow, who learned to study, who got herself to Spain, and who, through all her struggles, kept her happy personality. Now she’s out in the world and on her blog, contemplates what’s in front of her:

I am ready to situate myself among the millions of recent graduates around the world that are searching for that one light bulb. I’m waiting patiently while fumbling through applications, craigslist, Idealist, newspapers all the while playing dress up day in and out. Oh the headaches that will come and the free time that will be wasted…I think the hardest part is the question, what should I do with my life? (Ripping my hair out), It’s so hard to actually think past the next idea. Every moment I have a new interest, something that I would love to explore or try my hand at. When will my thoughts gather themselves in a row so that I can pick and choose from an organized pile?

I remember that feeling.  So many things to do in the world.  Travel!  Fall in love!  Dance! I snuck into performances of ballet when money was scarce.  I wasted time, the routine of school gone, on my own. I made booklets full of poems with illustrations and gave them to my lover.  I walked around whatever city I was in.  I joined a circus (not kidding!)  All the possibilities.  So what is my friend going to do?

I’m sending her huge congratulations on graduating!  And, because once a mentor, always a mentor, adding some advice: find your passion and go for it!! I can hardly wait to see what you do…


  1. Benta Davis says:

    Hey, hey thats me she’s talking about (jumping and waving).
    Thank you that was a great start to my morning. I loved it

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