It’s always a great joy when alumni, on their own initiative, share with the school the impact that The Potter’s House has made in their lives. I would like to share a couple of recent statements from one of our former students, Kjh-Lajhni Sanford.

An excerpt from Kjh-Lajhni’s Facebook post:

“As I sit in the Detroit airport waiting for my flight to DC, I can’t help but think about the many people who have helped to get me to where I am today and helped to prepare me for the opportunities that I am getting ready to have. Some of the first names that come to mind are my many teachers at the Potter’s House (Miss Beth Vander Kolk, Mrs. Ritter, Mrs. Yeo, Mrs.Hudgins-Jones, Miss Betsey, and many other support staff, teachers, and my sponsor Dr. Abiade) who encouraged me to do my best in everything, to reach out for help when needed, how to give a firm handshake, and to find the beauty in the trial.”

Kjh-Lajhni’s grateful post was followed up by an extremely thoughtful, and much more detailed letter, reflecting on her time here. Read on:
“I attended Potter’s House K-9. During my time there I was dealing with understanding what it meant to have divorced parents who are remarrying and having kids. It was a stressful time for me and I never fully understood the adult world. The teachers that I had, from Mrs. VanderArk to Mrs. Sisco, and everyone in between, all took their time to see me as more than just the student with the weird name. Most of the teachers that I encountered in my time at Potter’s House taught me small lessons that completely changed my world, and I still find those words to be what keeps me standing in times of stress and need.

For example, Mrs. Ritter would always tell me, “It’s not the end of the world” and this morning while flying to DC, it felt like my world was ending because of the extreme changes I was getting ready to make in my life.

As I scoured for new places to apply I would remember Mrs. Jones telling me “You’re thinking too hard.” It was in this memory that I knew that God already knew where I was meant to intern I just had to follow his guidance and within days I received my internship placement.

One of the most important lessons that I learned at Potter’s House was how to give a handshake and have the confidence to look someone in the eye. This lesson has carried me through the many jobs that I have had, and set me apart in interviews from other candidates.

I am to this day an excessive planner, but now I know that my plans will only work so long as they align with God’s plan for me. I know that the work the teachers do at Potter’s House is not in vain, and I am always willing to stake claim to my time at Potter’s House. I learned so much that has brought me so far. A few moments ago I was talking with my Grandmother (who has been my sole legal guardian since I was 4) about my time at Potter’s House. We both agreed in saying that Potter’s House made me who I am, with the values that I have and that is the greatest gift a school can offer. But the best thing is that The Potter’s House doesn’t take the credit, instead they give it back the mighty creator who allowed for these experiences to occur. My time since Potter’s House has been as bumpy as it was before, but I lean on the lessons and guidance that the teachers of The Potter’s House gave to me.”

When I think of Kjh-Lajhni, I always think of her vivacious personality and I think of her grandmother who worked endless hours volunteering at the school. Today Kjh-Lajhni is a  senior at Calvin College studying International Relations. She will be completing her degree in May. We are proud of Kjh-Lajhni and are grateful for the time that she took to look back and give such kind and thankful words for our teachers and school. She informed us that she will be looking for employment with a non-profit, or an organization that works with children who come to the US illegally. We have no doubt that she will do well, whatever path she takes.