I’m introducing a new format for me, one I’ve resisted for so long. Not only am I starting a blog, but I’m writing in the first person, something I ask communications staff members NOT to do except in the context of correspondence. Among the reasons I’ve resisted is that I’d prefer to avoid contributing to any cults of personality that keep us from working as a community.
It gets deeper. Words of Faith is a blog that will weave personal reflections and experience into discussions of policy, impact, and education. If I do this right, readers will find their way to current policy issues through stories. Sometimes these will be my stories, from long ago when I was a student on full financial aid, and sometimes I’ll share (with permission) perspectives of the students with whom I now work.
I’m imagining that the posts that follow will include local events, public policy at state and federal levels, and illustrations of the way policy plays out in real lives. I’m hoping to post at least monthly, but there may be times when it’s important to get the word out more frequently. Among the privileges of the work I do at The Scholarship Foundation is the chance to have my hands in both the daily work of building community by supporting students and in reforming and strengthening policy toward equity and opportunity.
Faith is not just my name. It was a fundamental motivation among the Jewish women who founded our organization almost 100 years ago and it is a one-word description of the way I greet each day.
In recent months, so much has occurred to test my faith in democracy. Events at the local, state, and federal levels have created even greater adversity for students already struggling to survive. Sometimes I worry about what to tell the next generation. Then I turn around and see them coming with strength and with hope and with so much to offer and I remember that losing faith is not an option.
I hope you’ll read, respond, and react. I’m working to create a place for thoughtful and deliberate dialogue. I’m looking for ways to use our collective powers for good.
– Faith Sandler