I want you to think about giving to our Campership Fund. I know I’m supposed to say that at the end of this letter, but I want you to start thinking about it now, and this is why:
One of our kids, Derrick.
We met Derrick when he came to Summer Theatre Camp on a scholarship provided by someone like you. Ever since Derrick got his first chance to imagine and play with us, he has been a part of every single Yes! And…Collaborative Arts program that he could. He’s been in our After-School Program, he has risen to become part of the Leadership Core of our Shadow Company, he has performed in our Winter Sort of Thing for six straight years, and for the last four summers, he has been on staff at the camp where we first met him.
Throughout this time, Derrick has learned to think creatively, work hard, dream big and actively author his own story.
In the eight years we’ve known Derrick, he has faced what all kids from North Philadelphia face: violence, prejudice, neglect and despair at a world that seems to offer them less. But Derrick knows that even if the setting of his story is bleak, even if some of the characters are not so noble, even if the plot is as complex as any fairy tale, that he has the power to shape his own biography.
Derrick is a junior in college now. He earned a full scholarship to Eastern University. He is a social work major and a theatre minor. He is an RA, the assistant technical director for the theatre, and he starred in Eastern’s production of Twelfth Night. This summer he has an internship at a social services agency, working in the neighborhood where we first met him. He will spend the summer working to set up a school supply distribution to over 700 kids just like him. He is a young man busy building his character and his career. We are so very proud of the man he is choosing to become.
Now I’m asking for you, like Derrick, to use your imagination to see hope in bleak places, and to be a part of making that hope happen.
When you give to the Campership Fund you are investing in kids just like Derrick. Please consider making an investment in a child’s capacity and creativity. Derrick’s story would be impossible if folks like you had not supported his participation in Yes! And… programming. And because I know we can count on your gift this year, I can’t wait to write you a letter next year about a kid whose life will be totally different than what it is today.