Dreams open for us new vistas to imagine ourselves and the world we inhabit. Alone these dreams may be contained only to fantasy; if shared with a community these dreams of ours may change the world. When we enter into a good space, a place of belonging, there’s a renewed sense of zest, and dreams can come true.
André has realized one his dreams of completing his AA this summer, making the dean’s list in the process. Yet, as remarkable as that is for someone only a few months back in the free world, something else has occurred: André will enter Florida State University this fall as a Human Rights Fellow. The first ever to do so.
The Center for the Advancement of Human Rights facilitates an interdisciplinary program at Florida State University that engages students with the mission of human rights advocacy, both globally and locally. Along with providing pro bono legal assistance for immigrants, refugees, victims of human trafficking, and survivors of torture, the CAHR provides field placements for students inspired by the mission of human rights. When André met with CAHR’s executive director, Dr. Terry Coonan for lunch one afternoon, along with Dr. Sonya Cronin who connected the two of them, André’s life changed. Gates open when we welcome others to dream with us.
This fall, André will begin an academic career by double majoring in Criminology and Human Rights/Social Justice. He’s already a tireless advocate for the marginalized and incarcerated. Our community has had the honor to witness his passion for ensuring that each person is seen and treated with dignity. This, for André is a way of life.
This is a remarkable moment for our house. We currently have a brother here who cooks for and serves Tallahassee’s hungry and homeless; another brother who connects the unemployed with meaningful work. And now André, who will take his place among human rights advocates pursuing a justice that restores and heals.
– By Andre (Resident at Joseph House) & Fr. Dustin Feddon (Executive Director of Joseph House)