“God made man because he loved stories.” I often think about the incredible power of stories. Then yesterday I got a letter from our most generous summer program partner Doug Capelin. Since 1992 hundreds of Summer Search kids as well as private students have gone to Deer Hill, his family run program in Colorado. In fact, Chelsea Clinton also attended as an adolescent.
Doug wrote, ”I have always know the power of stories, to inform, to inspire, to build community to acknowledge. In two hours I’m driving over to the reservation to deliver hay from our field to Irma Bluehouse. There will be a bag of dried apricots and apples waiting as Irma still makes pies with dried fruit as she learned from her mother Annie Dodge Wauneka, famous Navajo leader, friend to presidents. But I digress. I just finished your book, Linda and it could have contained 1000 pages and 20 more compelling stories. Forever Changed is an open book in the sense that there is so much more there, an invitation to consider, to be inspired, and to step into the grit and vitality of “insight mentoring.”
Every student who attends Deer Hill comes home with their own story. Just this past summer Mila Goldbert, daughter of a Summer Search alumni came home from Deer Hill writing in her essay that, “I have crossed the unknown only to end up in the middle of nowhere. Except that nowhere has ended up being a path to my self-discovery and openness to new people and places, to find the Navajo in me which means authentic kindness and peace, to make friendships through thunder and rain, and release all the fear that no longer serves me. I will be starting my sophomore year as Mila who believes and fears no more, as Mila who knows that everything is possible, as Mila who says “I can” and if I get fearful again, the Navajo in me will come to rescue.”