There we were. Driving up to the high school in complete white out conditions, raining so hard we couldn’t see the car in front of us, much less the road. It was a Saturday, the last performance day and our celebration of everything we had accomplished in a short semester with lots of snow day interruptions. As we pulled up we could see that a couple students were already waiting under the shelter of the walkway, the wind whipping through the trees. As we parked as close to the building as possible, we ran for the entrance and the bus that awaited our departure.

We yelled “hello”s and pleasantries as we did our best to ignore the rain that was now falling sideways against our faces. One of the students ran out and said there was a weather advisory to take shelter. We counted the kids, made some last minute phone calls and got everyone on the bus.

As we made our way down Packard heading west, the rain started to break. By the time we pulled up to the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the rain had stopped and the air became very still. We gathered everyone in the lobby for a short recap of what was to happen and then we took action.

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Security was very supportive as we walked slowly together through the galleries.

Security was very supportive as we walked slowly together through the galleries.

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Next, we made our way down State Street toward Angell Hall.

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Our final stop before the celebration was Graffiti Alley. The students loved the freedom of imagery and expression.

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After an afternoon of performance, walking and working up an appetite, the students sat down with community supporters, civic leaders, and fellow artists to talk about their journey from the beginning of Y-Fi to where they were today. It was so heartening to hear how Y-Fi had opened them up to new experiences, friends they wouldn’t have otherwise made at school, and a feeling that we were a family within the building and outside of it.

Then we sat down to a multi course dinner which included pork buns, spicy rice dumplings, grilled vegetables, crispy fried chicken, and matcha green tea cream puffs. The students and adults enjoyed it all. Thank you, Slurping Turtle!

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Dinner wrapped up, we all got on the bus, and everyone got home safely. This day will live in our memories for years to come. The pride we feel for the thoughtfulness and effort the students put into the walk that day was utterly impressive. We hope the students feel the same way.