Numbers are important, but the personal stories are what matter the most.
An Essay By selena williams, Foundation Youth:
My life was a never-ending agenda, always listing tasks and rushing to check them off in hopes of attaining a moment of contentment. Each time I fell short of completing the task perfectly, I felt like a failure, compounding the hatred and disappointment I felt within myself. The days dragged on for what seemed like years, and became nothing more than an anticipation for sleep, a momentary silencing of my mind. I grew covetous of the peace and confidence that I saw in others. Acquiring quietness became another "task" to complete. Frustrated with my inability to relax, I stared out of the window, envying the freedom of the birds—a freedom denied to me by my imprisoning mind. I scarcely heard the old house creak as my mentor approached me. "Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, clear your mind," he instructed me. For 20 minutes I sat rigidly in unbearable discomfort which arose from the absence of distractions—the forced focus on my deep-seated hatred of my appearance and mediocrity. I fought this arduous battle for a single concession: an ephemeral moment of tranquility. After years of chasing peace through check lists, I had finally discovered the path to profound silence.
The silence is no longer a disturbance, but a blessing. Gradually, I felt the muscles in my shoulders soften as I learned to cope with life's demands. Now I live deliberately. Each action I take is a defining step to a meaningful end rather than a disjointed list of tasks to fulfill. I have stopped habitually comparing myself to others, and have found comfort and confidence in my own abilities. After losing a three hour tennis match I walked off proud, with a sense of accomplishment, instead of punishing myself for not finding a way to win. Last month, I walked into a government test confidently, answering the questions with assuredness, rather than fearing failure as I did last spring. I want to share the value of meditation with those harboring the self-hatred I once possessed. I want to share a path to the blinding light of peace for those who still sit in dark noise.
The Story of Edgardo Ureta: Making the Impossible Happen
Please click here for the inspiring article on Edgardo Ureta and his journey to and through our program, as published by his Alma Mater, Hartford University's.