My name is Bill Dendle and this is #MyAESstory:
I became involved with AES when Bernie donated money to the jazz camp program that I direct. He came to visit the camp, and as I showed him around we talked about educational philosophy. The camp is a living example of what Bernie had seen described as a Positive Learning Environment, and so he asked me to meet with him after the camp concluded.
We met several times over coffee, continuing to share our ideas about education, and then Bernie invited me to join with AES, which I did enthusiastically! I was thrilled to find myself part of an organization that recognized the need for schools to evolve into places where children (and others) are “respected, connected, and affirmed.” I have had a particular focus on the need to change the school climate and culture for children of poverty, and for those who are culturally different from the mainstream, and AES afforded me the opportunity to make a contribution in this area. Associating with Bernie, CC, and all of the staff of AES has helped me to continue to grow and learn how to be an effective agent for change.
AES’s work is important because we have a unique approach to systemic change. AES is about collaboration across culture and generations, and about helping young develop people the skills and confidence to advocate, and work for, the changes that need to be made so that all young people have the opportunity to realize their potential.
For Giving Tuesday, I will be donating and encouraging others to donate to AES.