"What a year, joyous and painful in equal measure." - Darlene Koger

Darlene Koger opens her heart up about the true suffering and joys of this year. Darlene's grace and perseverance shows how we can truly see the light and the good in our suffering.

What do I want you to know? What have been the highlights of my time with EMBRACE? What challenges have I faced? Hmmmm... This past year has been like an old fashioned coin donation funnel. You know, the sort that you would find in your local Dairy Queen. Put a coin in the slot and watch it go round and round, faster and faster until it drops out of sight. Now imagine the coins keep coming, customers have pockets full of change to drop in.

That’s what this year has been like. Amazing, shiny moments and difficult, tarnished moments spiraling ever closer, one after another. It is overwhelming and wonderful and hard. This year has given me a lot to balance professionally and personally.

Through it all, I am so grateful for EMBRACE and what I have learned. The other students in my cohort are inspiring and treasured new friends. My confidence and skills as an advocate for my students have grown. But, the workload has been overwhelming at times. Teaching online, and in person, and hybrid is exhausting. Some of my students are struggling and my desperation to help does not always mean that I can. And then I get one more class closer to my goal. My students are making gains, and they know they are loved.

What a year, joyous and painful in equal measure. What I want you to know is that I live with a grateful heart, for all of it and for all of you. Your support is making a difference. - Darlene Koger

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14