At KLS I see differences in each student. I see students who are allowed to be different, allowed to be themselves.
When I was seventeen years old I was nearly forced out of high school for being different. I was bullied everyday of my life while in school. Each and every day a student I did not know would call me a negative and hurtful name. My mom, one of the hardest working women I know, told me to be strong and to go back. I survived. But being bullied was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.
Flash forward twenty years. I had been working with children for well over a decade and was almost burnt out. I was drained of energy and decided that I was going back to film school. That’s when my path took an unexpected turn and the universe led me to Khan Lab School. Russell Nuffer at Growfit, a partner of KLS, contacted me about his program teaching physical education and invited me to shadow him for a week at Khan Lab School. I was reluctant to continue working with children so I told him I’d give him one day and I’d let him know.
I entered Khan Lab school and, after just one day, I fell in love with the students here. They are so sweet and full of energy and ready to learn. They are kind and respectful to each other.
At KLS I see differences in each student. I see students who are allowed to be different, allowed to be themselves. I see that students at KLS can be who they truly are. And, because we see them for who they want to be, we can coach them when they’re not acting in ways that are in line with who they are. We’re not perfect, and they’re not perfect, but together we get closer to understanding and accepting each other.
If I had been a student here at Khan Lab School, I would have been allowed to be different. I would have been seen, I would have been loved. I feel I would have been able to focus on my education and not my well being and safety.
My mother, who passed away recently, got me through those tough times because I had love at home. I believe it’s also very important to be seen and feel loved at school -- a place where you can figure out who you are and you’re not afraid to be who you are. Khan Lab School is a home for learning. It is a place where one can be different and feel loved. At KLS, you can be whoever y
ou want to be. I wholeheartedly feel Khan Lab school wants you to be who you truly are -- to be kind, to be respectful, to be loved.
My path led me to Khan Lab School. I made a life decision to not enter the film world. The change I want to be in the world is at Khan Lab School. What I see on a daily basis is love and respect. I see an openness for all no matter your race or gender or orientation. I love Khan Lab School because it is a community of love.
Devin Harris has over 15 years of experience working with children. Prior to joining GrowFit, Devin was as an Outdoor Education teacher and basketball coach for both elementary and middle school students. In his spare time, he enjoys being outdoors, dancing and playing baseball. Devin is currently pursuing a degree in child development and looks forward to a long career in physical education.
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