Navigating Our Way had its official launch last night. We hosted the event with FableVision co-hosted at their studios. It was a great venue. As usual, our students both who are Harbor Freight Fellows from The Met and Fannie Lou Hamer talked about their lives in relation to the film and they blew everyone away. But there was more than just student voice. What we did was also have Sam Jean-Baptiste Alex’s advisor from the Met and Stevi Feinberg from Rocking the Boat where Fannie Lou Hamer student Francisco interns talk about their relationship with the Fellows. Sam knew Dean Alex’s mentor and Stevi knew the school. Both of these young men would spend all of their time at the places they intern and in reality, work at. Yes, a mechanic shop is a school and a boat yard is a school and the schools are willing for these places to be schools for student credit.
Next year, both Alex and Francisco are off to post-secondary training. Francisco is going to The Landing School, a maritime school in Maine and Alex is going to UTI an automotive/diesel school in Norwood, MA. Will they keep their relationships with the adults and places from their younger days? What do you think? They are connected in with a community. In the end, when both Alex and Francisco told their stories what was striking was their sincerity. They were humble and had what we used to call in Brooklyn – The Shrug. You shrugged when someone talked about you and you knew you had some skills. It is that body language which says everything about who you are while saying nothing at all. This is a very different way of being than in an academic setting where all you are is what you say and write, not what you did, how you performed and who you work with.
Also, it was great that Brian Richburg, Jr. showed up at the event. Brian created the music for NOW. He is 18 years-old, was a student of Sunny’s in New Orleans and now attends Berklee College of Music. When Brian was introduced to the audience, he talked about the difference between going to school at Berklee where you learn with your peers and learning in New Orleans where you learn from your elders. He stated, “Neither one is better. Just different.” We could never say it any better than Brian. That’s Navigating Our Way.