“M was never the most responsive student via text, but whenever I was visiting Madison and set aside some time to meet up with my students, he would always be there, so we formed our relationship in brief meetings which had that much more personal face-to-face kind of interaction. Since this is rare for most college coaches, I loved being able to connect with him on that level. Once the semester was over and I was connecting with all the freshmen that I could, M agreed to meet with me one evening.
Before that meeting, I had exchanged some texts with him that brought up a ton of thoughts and feelings that he had clearly been thinking about a lot. When we met face-to-face M went into more detail about all of them: he liked his freshman year and was ready for a new start his sophomore year, but the soul-searching and social aspects of being in college at Madison had really gotten to him, sometimes in negative ways. Either way, I talked him through everything and gave suggestions as to how to make the most of his second year in college. It was a pretty deep conversation, and I felt privileged that he trusted me with all of those emotions.
Unfortunately, the time had come for me to let M know about the end of my first term of service, and that while I would be returning for a second year, I had no idea if I would be his coach or not. His face changed immediately to a look of surprise and confusion. M had always formed strong connections with his high school coaches, and given the conversation we had just had, he was starting to form a connection with me. Inevitably this led to a general conversation about College Possible and how it was actually his mom’s idea for him to apply to the program. “I have no plans for you,” she told him. With that extra push M was accepted to the program, and after prefacing all of that, he told me that he has no doubt he would not have gone to college without College Possible, and that it was always the coaches that kept him going and pushed him to do his best. He eventually became one of the more dedicated students in the program, and he was so thankful for all of the support he had gotten. I can’t say that I have as close a connection with him as his high school coaches, but just being able to say that I contributed to his college success is one of the greatest feelings in the world. M told me he feels blessed for this opportunity and is extremely thankful for everything that we have done for him.”
Since his year at school as over, that was the last conversation I had with M.