I have been reading and grading "reflective essay" papers from my Senior Project class. I was moved by this wonderful passage written by a student who just joined us this fall:
My art holds a very special place close and dear to my heart. Without it, I would not be the person I am. Without it, I would be as I was in the past, a lost mind roaming this distant world. A fiend snared in the corruption of my city, as many are. With it, I have a chance to make it, to break the cycle, to be one of the first young men to make it in my family, breaking the chains holding us back.
It's stuff like this that keeps us teachers going!