Teaching, Learning, and Life at the Animal House

I finished week number two of teaching…38 more weeks until the end of the school year! Every day rushes by me, and it has been a whirlwind of hard work, constant prayer and deep joy that has has kept me moving. Working on founding a new school and founding an entire Special Education Department from scratch is no joke, but I love my job. USC Hybrid High School has become my life. Located on the first floor of the World Trade Center in Downtown Los Angeles, the school is becoming a beacon of hope for underserved, low-performing students to receive the education they deserve.

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Our dream is that all of our students graduate high school, and are all accepted into 4 year universities. Its a big goal. We know.

At our heart is this core motto:

“We use our careers and degrees to create positive multi-generational change.”

We’re not just talking change for our kids. We’re talking about change for their families, for their communities, for Los Angeles, for this nation, and for this world. The work is hard, but the kids are worth it.  The Lord has been incredibly faithful in providing me with the job I’ve dreamed of since I was a toddler. It is an honor to be used as a servant of His will and use my career and degree to create positive multi-generational change in our students. Every day I learn more about who I am, who God is, and where we’re headed together. There is no place I would rather be than right here.

 

Also, I’ve moved into a new house once again! We call this place the “Animal House.” Why, you may ask? Because there are animals. Literally. Raccoons, coyotes, bears, etc. I work in a high-rise and live down a dirt road, up a hill, and in the trees. The house is old, and has lots of character, but we love it. The flat roof makes for perfect star-gazing nights, the citrus and avocado trees surround us with new life, and finding a corner of nature in the concrete jungle I’m always in has been the perfect retreat. I love it here.

 

More than the house and the increasingly large list of things I love about it, I love this house because of the beautiful hearts, souls and smiles I live with. The Lord hand-picked every one of my 6 roommates to fill this house with their lives and their stories, and I’m daily amazed at how He always outdoes Himself. Undergrads, grad students and working professionals, we’re all in very different stages of life, but the heart of the Father is our middle ground. 

In the past year, the Lord has taught me volumes about what it looks like to live and love in community. Community is the place where tangible grace, forgiveness, mercy, joy and love can be manifested here on Earth. Community gives me glimpses of heaven. It equips me to go out into the world and build bridges between heaven and Earth. It reminds me that I’m not perfect, but I’m covered in grace. And, above all else, community continually points me toward the heart of the Father. This house is a place of healing, a place of freedom, a place of restoration, a place of joy, and a place of grace.  The Lord has some wild plans for what He is going to do in this house over the next handful of months and it is a blessing and honor to be a part of His work at the Animal House.

 

Cheers to my first two weeks of my big girl job and the house full of love I come home to! Praying for all that the Lord has, that my heart would seek only after His will, and that He will use my life for His glory. Praying for more of His Presence. Lay it on thick, Papa.

 

Grace and Peace,

Ms. V

 

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