We’d like to tell the story of a young woman from Ashland, Oregon named Temple. In what is perhaps the most fortuitous occurrence to come out of Brilliant Detroit’s social media presence, Temple took notice of Brilliant Detroit’s work through our Instagram profile while finishing up high school. Temple found herself looking for a fulfilling way to spend her gap year before college. She was driven by a calling for child development and the work of child care and, looking for a fulfilling way to spend her gap year between high school and college, she messaged us saying that she was interested in hearing more about us and potentially having an unpaid internship with us. Temple said that she would love to see Brilliant Detroit in person and indicated that she would be passing through Detroit anyway early in the summer of 2017 – something that was not quite true; she came only to see us. Three months and one visit later, Temple arrived back at Brilliant Detroit ready to work.
There is something profoundly hopeful in seeing a young person with the self-awareness necessary to know her passion and the opportunity to spend her days in service of that passion. Especially when that passion is the service of others and the development of children. Such a blend of passion and work is not a guarantee even after years in college. For a high school student to be at such a point is uplifting.
The months that followed Temple’s arrival have been nothing short of magical. She is astonishingly gifted with children; they cannot get enough of her. The parents, witnessing her dedication and deeply genuine enthusiasm for the care of their children while they attend workshops and classes at Brilliant Detroit, quickly took to her as well. Outside of her time in the childcare room at the Southwest site, Temple has supported numerous volunteer projects across the Brilliant Detroit sites and has further dedicated herself to building out our operations capacity, working closely with our Operations Director.
The story does not stop here. Temple is a product of Waldorf schooling and this connection has sparked another beautiful gift to Brilliant Detroit. While home in Oregon for the December holidays, Temple told her former kindergarten teacher and mentor about her gap year exploits and this Waldorf teacher was so taken by Temple’s earnest dedication and the mission of Brilliant Detroit that she gathered the support and expertise of her colleagues to contribute to our childcare work. Other members of the Waldorf community quickly pooled resources and, with their financial support and design expertise, we were able to transform our Southwest childcare room into a beautiful space for the development of our children. Our name for that room was a no-brainer: Temple’s Room.
Temple is a gift to all those who come into contact with her, just like Temple’s Room will be a gift to countless children to come. She lives by the value of making the world a better place wherever she goes. In her and this work we know their is magic in the world and we are glad that it touches our families and kids to help make kid success neighborhoods for all.