A Journey to Remember

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
This piece was written and performed during one of the graduations for the Journey Program. The Journey Program is a fantastic program that I have had the privilege of working with for the last five years. It is an afterschool mentoring program for at-risk and troubled youth. For anyone who has worked with youth definitely check this out!

Submitted: August 21, 2016

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Submitted: August 21, 2016



“A Journey to Remember”


Tonight I want to take you on a walk to remember

But now understand this is no ordinary walk but rather a Journey to remember

What started just four years a go

Will end tonight as I simply let go

But before I go I would like to express the thanks and gratitude that so many deserve

For those that have poured into me and have sacrificed to serve

You see you would think being a mentor would give you an opportunity to invest

But what I didn’t see coming is how much in return I would be blessed

I want to start by saying I’m thankful for the memories

Whether it be kayaking Eileen or literally freezing to death in 29 degrees

Or dominating Isiaiah in a game of one on one like it was a breeze

Or always setting up our tent on a rocky slope of 45 degrees

But what I’ll miss even more are the relationships with the students

The random texts and conversations about how I was able to make them better humans

Or pouring into lives by sharing my hurts, failures and struggles

In order to better the lives of others

With that said, there are three groups of people I would like to thank

First, I would like to thank my supervisor Michelle

Thank you for caring enough to create a program like Journey

Such a simple program that has witnessed transformations and changed the lives of so many

Thank you for your purpose, time and never-ending passion

Always willing to be a stand-up role model, supporter and advocate when I struggled during this year to rekindle that same passion

But most of all thank you for your sacrifice

For your willingness to put all of your selfish desires behind you in order to genuinely care and offer up a word of advice

I know you wouldn’t admit it, but YOU are ultimately what makes Journey successful

Next I would like to thank the Bobby’s, the Ashlyn’s, the Jakes’ and the DMT’s

If you don’t recognize any of these names these could be called some of our successes

Highly motivated young men that have gone on to make something out of themselves

Not using their past situations to dictate their future selves

Kids who just needed a little support and push in the right direction

Relying on the words of their mentors that they had purpose and verbal affirmation

I could go on and on about our successes

But what I’m most thankful for in Journey are our unsuccesses

Yes that’s right, I said not our successes but our unsuccesses

I’m thankful for the Michael’s, the Johnny’s, the C.J.’s and the Jeffrey’s

If you don’t recognize any of these names some would call these our unsuccesses

Others would call them our incompletes, reoffenders or failures

But I’m not willing to confine them just to their unruly behaviors

I’m thankful I had the opportunity to plant a seed

A seed that I hope will someday rise up from them and show them what they need

That is what they need to do to change their life

To break free from their everyday pain and strife

One thing I’ve learned from this program, and even in life, is that change isn’t always instant

Which is why I pray every day that they will listen

Whether it be from a jail cell or their home I pray that they can remember

Remember every time a mentor smiled at them

Remember every time a mentor did something special for them

Remember every time a mentor taught them a lesson

But most of all remember every time a mentor saw purpose in them

Mentors, you are powerful beyond measure

The work that you all do each day is truly a treasure

Sometimes you will be told of the lives you’ve impacted

But most of the time the lives we’ve impacted the most we will never know about

So as I conclude, I would like to say not a good-bye, but a see you later

I’m confident that without me you all will still be able to do things much greater

So as I leave in early August

Promise me that starting in September you will once again make another Journey to Remember.

© Copyright 2019 Will McConaughey. All rights reserved.

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