Hello family and friends of the Sunflower County Freedom Project!

It has been a very busy Fall semester here at the SCFP. We have just returned from our annual Thanksgiving Retreat, and I am happy to announce that it was a total success! Our Thanksgiving Retreat is a reward for our students who have completed all of our academic requirements, and who have shown exemplary leadership skills throughout the first half of our semester. The retreat is an opportunity for our students to visit different colleges, learn about different people/cultures in other regions of the country, and of course to have some fun! 

This year, our first stop on the trip was to Rhodes College in Memphis. It was great for our students to see a school that is very rigorous, but also has great support systems for students. We also had an amazing tour guide, who was able to share his experiences as an African-American student on a predominately white campus!

After our visit at Rhodes, we headed up to Champaign, Illinois. In Champaign, our students stayed with host families in order to fully immerse them in the culture of the city. They aslo did some community service work with a local organization that makes donations to support towns in the Delta! We even got to show off our bowling skills (or lack thereof) with some local high school students.

After a few days in Champaign, we headed to Chicago. First, we met with an organization that is implementing Restorative Justice practices into Chicago Public Schools. It was great to learn about alternative methods of dealing with conflict and disciplining students in a school setting. From there, we got to do some sightseeing downtown, and we visited the zoo. Then, we capped off our time in Chicago by having a "meet and greet" with a youth organization called the Kappa League Leadership Institute. This was a program that one of our program directors, Mr. Harris, was a part of when he was in high school, and their mission is very similar to that of the Freedom Project. It was so awesome to learn about a program that is doing very similar work in a completely different setting, and for Mr. Harris to get a chance to visit the program as an alum!

This trip was full of learning, broadening of horizons, networking, and smiles! Check out some of the amazing pictures from the trip below! Happy Holidays to you and your family from the SCFP! PEACE!