On the Rez: The Story of Ayden

“Do NOT accept this child into your school.” “He’s nothing but trouble.” “You will REALLY regret it if you do.” Statements like these were what Anne heard when she looked over Ayden’s application to Windswept Academy. He had been dismissed from pre-school because of his behavior, but Windswept wouldn’t refuse him, couldn’t refuse him. After all, the whole reason Anne had started the school was to bring hope to the Native American children on the reservation. How could she claim that as her mission and then refuse to let one of them in. So, she accepted him. And sure enough, it didn’t take long for him to live up to his reputation.

The input he had been receiving all his life had him convinced that he was stupid. He thought that he couldn’t accomplish anything, so why even try. Depression and boredom had revealed themselves the way they so often do: Ayden acted out.

Trouble seemed to sprout up wherever he went. After one day when he was particularly active (throwing things across the classroom), he was sent to Anne’s office. He knew she cared, and she wanted the best for him, and after a heartfelt talk, he left with a desire to do better. And he did. The change wasn’t total and immediate, of course, but he did start trying harder.

When his father returned home from being overseas with the military, that added to his motivation to work harder. In addition to that, Ayden accepted Christ as his savior last year. All of this combined to push him forward. When he finally really buckled down in school, it became clear that he could do the work in his classes. In fact, he could do the work very well: so much so that on the last standardized test, he scored in the top 90-99% in the country.

If he had gone to another school, most likely he would have gotten lost in the crowd and ended up being labeled as a trouble maker. He may have even ended up in special ed. for being disruptive. Chances are he would have dropped out of school as soon as he got old enough to realize that was an option like so many other children on the reservation do. But now he has hope.

Because of the faith that the people at Windswept Academy had and his new-found motivation to succeed, Ayden has discovered that he’s not stupid after all. Instead, he is very intelligent. I believe we can expect great things from him, and I look forward to watching him grow and turn into the great man I believe he can be.
 For more pictures from the school, look Windswept Academy up on Facebook.

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