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A Story of Hope

Hello all,

With the COVID-19 crisis continuing to evolve, we find ourselves rapidly changing the way we work and live. We’re all spending a lot more time at home, searching for ways to maintain some sense of normalcy through these unprecedented times.

ACE Scholarships, our scholars, and their families all face the challenge of navigating our way through this pandemic. Now more than ever, we all are forced to rely on innovation and resiliency… the kind that allows us to not only survive but thrive during this crisis.

At a recent Alumni Board meeting, one member shared:

“While the world is hoping to go back to normal as soon as possible, we should instead use this time to see what parts of normal are worth going back to.”

When I heard this statement, it made me pause, and think hard about what has been lost, and what might possibly be gained through this trying time.

I don’t know about you, but slowing down does not come naturally to me. I like being busy; planning activities, setting goals, checking items off my list—this situation has forced me to step back from achieving all my goals and accomplishing all the things I want to in the timeframe of my choosing. I took a moment to sit and think about the past few weeks, and I found that there were so many moments of connection that I’ve been able to have with friends and family that I’m so thankful for.

I know that the simple act of practicing gratitude can feel like a chore right now, but it is so important for this moment. We have to FIGHT for optimism every day. I have one such story I’d like to share with you.

Aidah Clinton, our Alumni & Family Engagement Manager, shared the story of Hope, a single mom of three in Montana who just lost her job due to COVID-19, and now faces the challenge of homeschooling 2 young girls. Asked how she’s managing this huge shift, and if there’s anything ACE could do for her to help make this transition easier, her response blew me away.

“To be honest, I have never been happier, I have never felt more connected, and I have never felt that I was doing an amazing job as a mom until this unexpected turn of events.”

What astonishing optimism and perseverance in the face of life-altering difficulty. Hope expressed that she did not feel sorry for her job loss, and that she and her kids would be okay, because this unexpected turn of events has given her back the opportunity to reprioritize, not only for her family, but for herself. Before, she was working all the time and was unable to spend meaningful time with her girls in the way she so desired. So, for Hope, the challenge of these past weeks has presented itself as a new beginning.

Hope calls ACE her “saving grace,” and she is thankful that we are not only working to help meet our families’ immediate needs, but continuing in our mission to ensure our scholars do not miss out on the opportunities that her children have been afforded.

All of this to say, stay optimistic! There are so many positive and beautiful things happening right now. We would all do well to acknowledge the good we witness and the blessing we experience each and every day. I hope you receive this story as an encouragement and that you and your family remain safe and healthy.

With gratitude,

Norton

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