Students in RWCI’s High School Equivalency (HSE) class gathered together virtually to celebrate the end of the semester. Keynote Speaker, Raushawna Price from Eyrie Success, has been an incredible leader throughout this year’s class.  Raushawna energy is contagious as she is constantly encouraging and sharing wisdom.

In her keynote speech, one piece of advice that she shared was about support systems: “You have ladders in your life.” Ladders are our support system and we are also ladders for others.”

As she drew a visual and metaphorical ladder on her whiteboard during the Zoom, Raushawna described how one good choice leads to the next good choice.  “You made a choice just by being here” and choosing to participate in HSE.  Raushawna encouraged students to “Keep yourself in the mode of doing school,” throughout the summer.  Learning something new every day or every week will help you keep the momentum towards your goals that you have worked so hard on.

We asked Raushawna to tell us more about this class, this group of RWCI students and her experience…

How have you seen distance learning impact RW students? 

Distance learning has created an opportunity for students to have access to teachers and resources without leaving their home.  This is a critical factor for many households. For those who have children and scheduling challenges as well as a lack of sustainable resources, distance learning has allowed their learning to continue.  This program allows education to continue even in the midst of unusual family, living, or health situations.

How have you seen this class positively impact lives?  

This class has impacted participants lives by increasing their confidence, expanding the possibilities of what their life can look like, and validating their belief that there is a better way.  In a word, it grants them hope.  Confidence, possibility and belief is where personal success thrives within a person’s mind, which positively impacts their behaviors, relationships, families, community interactions, and future decision-making.   

What challenges do you see students facing during COVID?  

Fear and isolation are the two biggest challenges students face during COVID-19.  The fear of not having enough money, food, and other resources are at the core of survival and often triggers other negative thoughts and emotions.  Additionally, being isolated is hard for students who thrive off of personal connections.  When students are alone or feel like they are the only ones with a particular challenge, this isolation can lead to bad habits or decreased confidence, as well as a reduction in self-worth.

Anything else you’d like to share?

What I love about RWCI is their willingness to explore new options and ways to think about what they are doing.  I believe this is critical to the long-term growth and sustainability of the success they achieve, for the students and entire community.  It’s about making an impact and being witness to the powerful, positive impacts this organization makes is a tremendous privilege. With continued support and resources, the community they reach will continue growing and reaching not only more communities, but in to future generations. 

Thank you, Raushawna, for your incredible commitment and dedication to the RWCI community!