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Written by MELS’ Class of 2021

Gather in a circle.
Come over here.
You ready?
I would like to tell you a story.
Let’s start from the beginning.

Congratulations you have officially been transferred to MELS,
There is no going back,
I remember it like I was yesterday.
Summer Bridge,
Crew Orientation,
Community Garden,
And Crew Olympics.
Have fun!
Take on challenges.
Show me the way past those challenges.
Advice . . .

1. Learn from mistakes
Falling on stage or forgetting a line
A red card!
The worst start ever
Sent to the office
I’ve been acting like a three-year-old.
Suspended for a month
Failing ELA
This must be difficult to deal with.
OMG this can’t be happening.
I started to freak out.
My shoulders fell with disappointment and shame.
People make mistakes.
It’s going to be okay.
Start with Sorry.
I got that through my head.
I gave myself a good look in the mirror…
And took a deep breath.
I realized I have a choice.
I stopped giggling and put on my serious face.
Can I come in during lunch?
I need your help; I really do.
You go girl!
I got back on the right track.
A new chapter.
Ready for a new role.
I felt proud of myself.
Undeniably proud.
Son, I’m proud of you.

2. Work Hard & Believe in Yourself
Unlimited opportunities
Dive in head first . . .
Without fear.
It will be hard.
I had to be prepared.
Preparing for one year and four months.
No time to waste
Tic toc tic toc tic toc
I couldn’t let anything get in my way.
I ran like I’ve never run before
My feet ached
A lot of grit and a ton of effort.
Stay persistent and practice.
Really care.
The mindset of a leader.
Let’s do it!
Out of my comfort zone.
I don’t know what to do.
I’ve had so many dreams about this moment.
Follow your dreams,
Just play your heart out and pretend everyone is in their underpants!
What seemed impossible . . .
Will be a piece of cake.
I’ll go!
I put on my lucky shirt.
Say my prayers!
I went with my instincts
All fear inside me vanished and courage stepped in
I smiled to myself.
In the blink of an eye . . .
I accomplished something big . . .
With all my heart and soul!

3. Lean on Each Other
Want to be friends?
They are really cool once you get to know them.
Our friendship became stronger.
My bros!
My crew.
A family.
I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.
They made me feel special.
Important and necessary.
Loved and appreciated.
I belong here.
Friends forever.
Open and comfortable.
Laughing and smiling.
We had fun.
A blast!
Half of the crew dancing
Everyone cheering.
We hugged
We told some scary stories.
We played Would You Rather
We fought over stupid things — like food or who’s better in basketball.
In tough times . . .
We have each other’s backs
An unbreakable bond
Always there
To support you through it.
No matter what.
By my side for the journeys and adventures to come.

Moment of Zen.
We’re finally almost done.
We did it!
Soak in the lessons.
Learn from mistakes.
The small, tiny things in life may not be so tiny in the end.
Embrace the past, enjoy the present.
It can lead to amazing things!
Class is dismissed.

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