HOUSTON – May 18, 2018 – Fifth graders at Jenkins Elementary School filed into the gymnasium Friday morning thinking they were going to take part in a post STAAR testing celebration. Little did they know they were going to walk away with a dream fulfilled.
The students along with their faculty sponsor SarahBeth Ford, who teaches fifth-grade science, had tried all year to raise enough money to pay for an end-of-year field trip to iFly. At the last minute, when Ford knew their fundraising efforts had fallen far short, she reluctantly called iFly to cancel. That’s when iFly enlisted the help of We See Abilities.
“I am here to tell you your dreams can come true,” said We See Abilities founder Mythiquer Pickett, who opened the fast-paced, entertaining event.
Emceed by Miss Teen Houston International Xena Aouita, the event included local singer and composer Seth Keiffer singing the National Anthem, along with former San Francisco 49ers’ Tyrone Smith and motivational speaker Nolen Davis sharing words of advice to the 150 soon-to-be middle schoolers.
Smith encouraged the students to challenge themselves to make their goals, hopes and dreams a reality. Next, Davis suggested they find something they are passionate about and make a commitment to practice. He sprinkled his remarks with “the sky’s the limit,” leading up to the surprise announcement that the students were going to get their field trip to iFly after all – thanks to community members who donated funds.
The students’ response was deafening. And more good news was yet to come, when Pickett announced that not only were they going to iFly, but a trip to Microsoft was scheduled for the next day, when students would work on robotics and coding.
“This event was heartwarming. It was so touching to see the community care about our students, and it made me feel better about the world they are going into in the future,” said Tiffany Weston, Jenkins principal.
Standing in front of about 40 cheering community members, who had made the hour-long event possible, Pickett said,”If we don’t cheer for you all, how are you all going to cheer for the next generation?”
That pay-it-forward philosophy made an impact on Anthony Ayala, who took away more than excitement over the trip to iFly. “I want to change the world to make it a better place,” he said.