Sunday, February 16, 2014

A "Thank You" Letter to Demi Lovato

Dear Demi,

I know that's a long shot that you'll get this, but I just wanted to thank you.

Last year I worked in an inner-city school in Phoenix. I taught 8th grade English.Most of the kids came from low socioeconomic backgrounds, single-parent families, we had lots of kids in foster care, we had two group homes within our boundaries; many children were depressed with suicidal tendencies and many of them had come from an abusive home or situation and a fair few had family members that were in gangs. More often than not, I was the only adult in their life who cared whether they lived or died.

I was more than a little overwhelmed when I started teaching, but then I realized what a difference I had the potential to make, largely due to the fact that they were exactly where I was when I was their age. More than anything, more than teaching them English, I wanted to inspire them. I wanted to get them to believe in themselves, get them to understand that they didn't have to listen to the people who told them "NO" or "You're not good enough."; that they had the right and power to do whatever they wanted, that they were capable of anything they set their minds to. Your music, your story of overcoming your eating disorder and your addictions, was/is such an inspiration to them. Being able to listen to your music during their school day in my classroom was their little ray of hope and sunshine that got them through the day.

I have since had to quit and move away from Arizona due to some serious health problems, but I just wanted to tell you this: A large number of my old students just recently went to one of your concerts and they were inspired and awe-struck. You made them feel special and even if just for a little moment, they believed in themselves because of you.

SO, what I really just wanted to say was "thank you". Thank you for taking care of "my kids" and inspiring them and believing in them when I don't have the ability to help them anymore. Thank you.

Sincerely and with greatest thanks,

Stephanie Ann McMurtrey