Did you participate in Pay it Forward Day yesterday? I did…I gave $10 to Rachel, a 22-year-old who just graduated from American University with a degree in graphic design and photography. Here story coming on Day 352!
Today…we travel south to the picturesque town of Charlottesville, VA. The town of 50,000 is located smack in the center of the Commonwealth of Virginia along the Rivanna River, a tributary of the James River. It’s about 120 miles from Washington, but somehow we took the most backward way possible and spent 3+ hours getting there.
So my brother, sister-in-law and I were going to meet up with my cousin Doug and his daughter Chelsea…what does that make us, cousins once removed, second cousins, anyway. My dad also drove down from Pennsylvania. Chelsea is a graduating high school senior and is scouting out colleges which landed them in at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. They live in Colorado so we don’t get to see them that often, although come to think of it I have seen Doug three times this year, but anyway, you get the point. They come in to town and we all thought it would be a good idea to meet up. And my cousin Dianne was driving in the next day too. It was fun spending time with family.
Tyler is a freshman at UVA and his family is down visiting him from Northern Virginia…close to DC. He grew up in Herndon, VA…I also lived in Herndon for a while. Small world.
The 18-year-old economics major says that my cousin should choose UVA. “It’s great here,” he said as he helped himself to some potato chips, “freedom is the best part!” I can’t think of a more beautiful place to explore that freedom. The campus is stunning. The town is quaint and charming. “And we’re in the top 5 in the country for soccer,” Tyler adds.
I felt a little like I just crashed their family picnic…which I did, so I tried not to stay too long. I gave Tyler the money and he said he was going to buy some music with it. “Probably some punk music. My favorite band is Sonic Youth.”
Before I left he did have something for me to add to the Lend a Hand initiative. “I could use an internship in the DC area for the summer.” Hopefully somebody will see this and give this promising young man a chance.
On Tuesday I got this update from him via email:
I ended up ordering one of my favorite albums- “Psychocandy” by The Jesus and Mary Chain. I’d never gotten around to buying a physical copy of it before.” – Tyler S.
He won’t be able to make the Year End Celebration because he has a final exam that day. Although we’ll miss him, it’s probably a wise decision.