Finding Those Quiet Moments
The Bethany Hill School offices have been a flurry of activity this week as we prepare for Fatmata’s book reading tonight!
With all the excitement preparing for any big day, it is especially important to find a quiet moment for reflection, no matter how brief it might be. Take a moment get in touch with your innermost thoughts and feelings – it will help you fully appreciate the experience and slow down enough to notice important details that might otherwise have been missed in the chaos.
So we asked some of our staff today – what has Fatmata’s “Journey” meant to you?
“It amazes me that what began as an academic exercise has grown in meaning in so many different directions, for so many people beyond the writer. Stories are important to us – in listening to them, we understand, we share pain, we are lifted by the good moments and we are inspired as we think about and tend to our own ‘personal narratives.’” – Trish Appert, Executive Director
“The mission of Bethany Hill School is to empower residents to be their best selves and progress toward their goals to the best of their ability. Tonight’s book reading and signing celebrates a woman who has embraced our mission wholeheartedly and accomplished a wonderful feat, writing and producing her incredible memoir from Sierra Leone to America. As a community, BHS will celebrate this amazing woman, Fatmata.” – Sister Denise, Program Director
“Six months ago, when Fatmata Conteh walked into my office, asking to work on her essay writing, in preparation for GED lessons, a wondrous thing happened. A series of penciled essays, written long-hand on a yellow pad, became a book. As we worked together weekly, correcting verb tenses and spelling, punctuation and sentence structure, an extraordinary life story with an important message emerged from the tangle of pencil and red ink. A voice rose from the pages, strong and wise, humorous and resilient. A miraculous little memoir was born, called MY JOURNEY. This is why I love my work as Adult Education Specialist at BHS: residents like Fatmata Conteh.” – Mary Mitchell, Program Co-Director
“We are all so excited for an extend warm wishes to Fatmata as she readies for her memoir signing. Fatmatah has been and continues to be a complete inspiration to everyone that has the good fortune to know her. Bethany Hill School is a better and stronger community for having had the pleasure of her residency.” – Joyce McMahon, Property Manager
“By sharing her story, Fatmata has touched many lives both in and out of the BHS community in ways we can never measure. When I hear Fatmata or any of the residents tell about their lives, I am reminded of the incredible resilience of the human spirit. Imagine how strong a person must be to survive a civil war, or make a major life change and leave behind a life of addiction, or work every day to overcome a mental or physical disability… these residents are unsung heroes in our community.” – Mariel Manzone, Director of Mission Advancement
Filed Under: Life