Here's a note of appreciation for your work with Vermont's young people in general, and my child in particular.
My daughter is a highly sensitive kid whose learning style and special personality have made it difficult for her to grow confidence in a classroom culture in which learning requires a certain set of skills and capabilities, a complex social environment she has struggled to navigate, and some challenging family dynamics. All of these factors have increased her anxiety levels and decreased her ability to feel comfortable in the world at large.
Despite all our attempts to provide her with support and encouragement, she has been a bit of a "lost soul" when it comes to life outside of the comfort of family and the household. We see her as having an emotional intelligence beyond her years, an interesting creative streak, and at home, little inhibition to play act and entertain. She has always loved story and we have brought her to NEYT plays since she could sit on a seat.
The experience at NEYT has been monumental for her.
She entered a group of a dozen kids or more she had never met who are tight-knit and exceedingly confident, she memorized pages of lines and directions with a learning disability involving short term-memory and executive functioning challenges, and stood up in front of all of those kids and an audience because we asked her to try it out and she was willing to take the risk, and play her part on making some changes in her life.
Her experience was a positive one.
She felt a great deal of support from the folks at NEYT, especially how the kids "took her in" and encouraged her and how Stephen devoted extra one-on-one coaching when performance time was just around the corner.
We see this as a bright beginning for her with the potential for future success, a chance to meet friends and shine in her own right, especially, to belong to something expansive in so many ways.
We see the values and goals of the program as a prefect fit for our daughter and hope she can be more involved through her teens years.