Inspiration can be hard to find, especially in the dead of winter, when even the thought of rolling out of bed and venturing into the snow can be painful. So many mornings, I wake up thinking about my work and purpose and why I am here. How do I begin to address all the issues and inequalities in the world? On gloomy days, I question myself and wonder if I’ve given enough. What will I be remembered for?

Yet days like today, I’m inspired by real-life stories and know there is a larger goal at stake.  A woman in Ohio, Kelley Williams-Bolar, recently was jailed for trying to send her kids to a better school. Her story hit home for me.

Parents and loved ones do everything they can to provide for their families. Documentaries like “Waiting for Superman” highlight how difficult it is to get out of under-funded public schools. We can discuss the source of the problems all we want and debate education reform forever. Yet the problem remains and is very real and immediate for many people.

I commented on inspiration at the beginning of this blog. You may be wondering how a sad story like this gives me inspiration? I work as the grad assistant in the Center for Intercultural Learning and Community Engagement (CILCE), working with the Tutor-Mentor and Literacy Connections programs. These initiatives make me realize that these stories are not solely in Ohio. Our brothers and sisters in our backyard experience similar struggles within our own education system.

We have the power to do something about this right now. Our programs partner with surrounding schools and site partners that envision a better community for all Minnesotans. We work together across differences to achieve a common goal. Partnering with local schools slowly transforms our community.

I encourage all of you to consider joining the Tutor-Mentor team. Applications are available now. Don’t wait until you hear another story like Kelley’s before you think about acting.