By Andria Hollis
The time has come to say goodbye. After ten years of leading Kid Power, I am embarking on a new challenge. Starting this October, I will be serving as the Deputy Director for the Taproot Foundation in DC. I am excited to be joining an amazing team of non-profit leaders who are charting a transformative path for the sector.
A decade ago, I shared a dream with my co-founder Caroline Sholl. We had nothing besides the support of our family and friends and our passion for the work. With great humility, we set out to explore the history of the District of Columbia and provide the tools, resources, and opportunities for young people to lay out their own vision for the city.
Today, I can say with certainty that Kid Power is a force for change in the District. This is the result of the toil and sacrifice of our students, staff, parents, volunteers, partners, and supporters. I have only been along for the ride, and it has been my honor to have served for so long. With every fiber of my being and atom of energy, I wish I could have given more to the cause. Yet, I am comforted by the confidence and talent of Kid Power’s leadership. The organization is now in the capable hands of our long-serving Program Director Andria Hollis. Andria burns bright with the fierceness of a true advocate and educator. Kid Power will flourish.
I also carry with me ten years of remarkable memories. I laughed with Caroline as we debated the proper way to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I lost my patience with Kayanna spinning through the lobby of Miner Elementary as we slapped paint on Panda Pete. I calmed Stevie down on the roof of a hotel in the Dominican Republic when he raged against his life. I hugged Dashia after she documented the story of her friend’s murder. I pondered history and astronomy like a true nerd with Brian and Anthony. I cried when Felicity brought down the house as a wrathful Antigone on the stage. I yanked carrots from the ground with the triplets, baked peanut butter cookies with Wendall in New Orleans, pulled fat croakers out of the Chesapeake with Gary and Trayvon, pushed Aquil down Capitol Hill in a homemade soapbox racer, played djembe drums as Trinette and Little Man danced into the night, and helped with enough homework to fill a small library. It is a profound gift to be able to teach a child to swim, to understand fractions, to settle a fight peacefully, to see the wider world around them in new and beautiful ways.
A seed was planted ten years ago in my heart, and it grew with love and joy and pain and sadness and revelation. All the members of the Kid Power family, especially my phenomenal staff, enriched my life in immeasurable ways, but the kids occupy a special place. They are the soul of my struggle, the north star of my journey to be a better person, husband, and father. There is so little that I can say to them now. There are few words that have meaning. All I can muster is thank you, thank you, thank you.
With all my heart, thank you.
Founder, Kid Power, Inc.