You met Allie Marques last September when we told about her service project that is part of the program required of students in the Black Belt Teaching Corps.

She’s about big as a minute with a perpetual grin.  One of those personalities who just lights up any room she is in.  And soon, a very fortunate roomful of students will come under her care.  I know her type.  Nothing left to chance.  They spend hours and hours each summer readying their classroom as if she were about to host a royal wedding.

Allie was the student who surprised me last week by presenting me with the gift from the first BBTC class.

And true to form, I got the following email note from her today:

“Dear Mr. Larry,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you have done for the Black Belt Teacher Corps!  I feel I can speak for all of us when I say that we wouldn’t be the educators we are going to be if it wasn’t for you.  This program has helped us all financially, set us apart from other teacher candidates by giving us a battery of professional development and skills tailored for Black Belt teachers, and, most importantly, given us the chance to serve a school and fill a need for the children who attend it..
Our service projects have impacted so many lives, especially since they have been implemented all over west Alabama.  I never dreamed that my project would take off like it did.  All  of my students, pre-K through 12th grade, love it!  They were so excited to get  out there to learn and watch their plants grow.  I even had several students at Demopolis Middle School ask if the Sprouting Minds program could be extended to include livestock in the future!
The Black Belt Teacher Corps has given us the opportunity to see the need in these schools and love these students who may not experience it on a daily basis.  We get to show them that we care about them.  We get to support them.  We get to motivate them to achieve their dreams.  We get to help them break the glass ceiling.  We get to change lives.
For that, I am forever grateful.  I know this graduating class has changed thousands of lives already and I can wit to see how many more are touché by this program.  Like I said Thursday, I many not be able to change the world, but I can certainly change the Black Belt and that would not be possible without your support.
With utmost gratitude,
Allie Marques
While some dream big and paint oh such grand pictures, in the end it’s the foot soldiers like Allie and her classmates who really change the world.  One life at a time.
God speed and God bless young lady.  You are truly on a mission.