Thursday, February 05, 2009

A strange and amazing thing just happened...

All thanks to Facebook.


And the J.E.P... (which stands for Joint Educational Program {or is it Project??})

And for those unaware of what JEP does - it is a volunteer program put on by USC in conjunction with Los Angeles Unified School District for students of Psychology and Education or any other kind souls who want to volunteer, to go into these socio-economically poor schools and work with kids considered to be "at risk". We acted as mentors or tutors, or both, for the course of the school year. It was fun and with my hope to become a counselor or therapist as an adult, I thought it was good practice as well!

While I was at work today, I used my cell phone to check my inbox on Facebook. Ok, yes, the fact that I am a Facebook addict has already been clearly established! Shushh to all you poo-poo-ers out there...

There was a message from a person who's name I did not recognize. I was hesitant, but I opened the message. Inside said "Were you a part of the JEP at USC from 1989 - 1990?"

I replied to him that I was but that his name did not sound familiar to me. To which he responded... he was not a student at USC - he was a student at the school around the corner and he had a counselor named Samantha. He wondered if I were she.... He mentioned that his JEP counselor had brought back a piece of the Berlin Wall for him (as it had just 'come down' a couple of years before) and had taken him one day to DisneyLand.

Oh. My. God.

YES - It took these pieces of information for the puzzle to begin to take form. I had a picture of this little boy on that day at DisneyLand and I could still see it clear as day! I remember giving him the piece of the wall. It took a bit of jarring of my poor old memory, but yes - I did in fact remember this person!!!

Then I asked - How on earth did you find me???

Evidently, according to him, he has been looking for me forever but never could remember my last name. He knew I went to USC, and when I graduated. A friend suggested that he check Facebook so he searched for me and found me!!

He wanted to tell me that our time together had changed his life; that I had showed him there were alternatives open to him. He thanked me for our time together.

In fact.. this is what he wrote...

"I've been trying to find you forever. I could only remember your first name and my best friend told me to try facebook. I just wanted to thank you for coming into my life and showing something different. You just don't know how you could change some one's life for the better. I live in Dallas, Texas now; I have three children. I'm a music promoter. Oh, I still have that piece of the Berlin Wall and, guess what, I take my kids to Disney world every spring. Thank you so much."

And I.. for once.. am rendered utterly speechless.

1 comment:

Rox said...

What a wonderful tribute Sam. It must feel wonderful knowing you made a difference.