|How to Make an Impact
By Belinda Bullard
Don’t let anyone think little of you because you are young. Be their ideal; let them follow the way you teach and live; be a pattern for them in your love, your faith, and your clean thoughts.
1 Timothy 4:12, The Living Bible
Though hard to believe, we are in our final years of homeschooling. Anyone would think that, having “graduated” two older children, we would cake-walk this road with our youngest. Yet, as the navigation from homeschool to college becomes more sophisticated, we find ourselves attempting to marry what we think we know with the nuances of our third child.
Recently, we sat in on a webinar describing a five-pronged characterization of student profiles, based upon what stands out to Ivy League admissions counselors. What struck me in watching the hour-long workshop was this concept of IMPACT. In other words, most college entrants have stellar grades and high SAT and/or ACT scores. Similarly, most of our children have interest(s) that dictate certain extracurricular activities, and having a leadership position is a plus. What helps a student excel above all the premier candidates, according to the workshop leaders, is IMPACT. In other words, what is the student’s passion (over and above interest), and how is that passion used to impact the surrounding community?
If you follow me anywhere on social media, you know that our children are creatives, but you might not know that they are “closet” scientists. Each one has managed to partner a love of his/her artistic bent with a scientific twist. Our youngest has partnered a love of dance with an obsession for health and nutrition. So, in marrying her affections for these two areas, we have (hopefully) found a place to make an impact: a seven-acre farm in need of volunteers.
Urban food deserts are still very much a part of our cities and towns, creating a ripe environment for disease and obesity due to lack of access to nutrient-dense foods. So, even though the would-be dietitian/ nutritionist tells me that her working on an urban farm is like taking a dance teacher to a ballet shoe factory, we serve. We rise early, work hard, and we give back as we have been given. We seek to impact those for whom fresh food is simply too far away. Because if all this homeschooling experience leaves us with is a head full of book knowledge, then we have missed the point.