It is a gift each semester as I prepare my college students for their end-of-semester event: “Sacred Stories.” As non-native English speakers, these young men and women do something that most never dare to do in our lifetime: speak publicly. Not only do they do this, but they share the most intimate details of their lives and do that in a foreign language: English. I am always in awe of them and treasure this event.
Thanks to the hard work of Tony Vigue at SPC-TV, this event is videotaped for future viewing. Additionally, South Portland City Hall chambers become the site for the event. With the extreme generosity of Woody Leland, the students have an additional gift of a professional to photograph the event. Deep gratitude to Ruweda Abdullahi, Thanh Nguyen, Jenn McAdoo, Laurel Amiable and Pat Wheeler for spending hours listening to the students as they practiced pacing, emphasis, eye contact and more in preparation.
The stories are memories that reflect courage, determination and gratitude. They serve to teach, to learn and to heal. Many feel the day is life-changing, returning for the power of stories. While the experiences differ, the themes are those we all have in life, allowing us to make connection.
Please join us on April 27 at 3 p.m. at South Portland City Hall. The event lasts approximately two hours. Your support for the courage of these young men and women is most welcome.
Rosemarie De Angelis, adjunct professor
SMCC, South Portland