The best part of Charity Ball is that its impact does not have a finite stopping point. So much of high school is spent in a blur, in a constant state of waiting to get to somewhere else. A feeling that this time will pass by and be over with, that it’s impermanent and therefore unimportant. This fleeting experience makes the chance to be a part of a project that will sustain necessary missions in this Raleigh community so incredibly special. Our work can be done right after school, at this age, without a Bachelor’s degree or even a driver’s license, and its ripples won’t stop spreading when we leave Enloe.

In similar fashion, Southeast Raleigh Promise is focused on building up the Southeast Raleigh community from their roots and creating positive change that will last for generations. Their work today to alleviate the regional food desert, build a bank, and develop truly mixed-income housing in the Rock Quarry Road Corridor is long-term oriented and doesn’t depend on the motivation of just a few who will pass on. In particular, their focus on the elementary school years, which are so formative in preparing children to succeed as learners later, reflects that permanent, community-driven mindset. Around age 6, you learn to add 3 and 4. It’s the first step on a mathematical journey that will visit the realms of prices, geometry, and even calculus. Learning to add those two simple figures is a skill that makes that experience possible. SERP understands that it’s much easier to acquire that skill with a full belly and teachers who have the well-being of their students at the top of their minds. 

On Tuesdays, I go to Southeast Raleigh Elementary School to give homework help and extra enrichment to the first grade class. After exchanging a few greeting hugs and saying hi to everyone, I funnel the kids from the cafeteria to their class space on the second floor of the school. Usually, they break up into stations to practice math games, read as a group, or do homework. I do quite a lot of logging students onto computers outside of helping them through their nightly assignments. Although that might not be the most revolutionary effort, they don’t all have to be. The world is better for every child who has access to a computer, who can have a healthy snack after a long day of learning, who feels supported in their studies, and they will be able to apply their intelligence to school and the world for years to come. These are the foundations for the impact that will carry on past December 7th and into the future for the Southeast Raleigh Community. Having the honor of serving such an empowering, necessary cause is one that few people will ever experience, and it is a privilege for Enloe Charity Ball to be a part of it.

Caroline Smyth 
Sophomore Class Senator 


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