It was a busy weekend for the Bazyks, for Rogers New Tech, for family. It’s crazy how much can happen in one weekend!

This year, Danny and I took another group of learners to National History Day state competition at the University of Central Arkansas. I was more nervous than they were, I promise. We rode the bus down with them and I watched as some of them, at 5 in the morning, were practicing their performance. I watched as they made laps around the library practicing. I saw parents drive to be supportive of their kids. I listened as the asked each other questions that they felt the judges might ask. I saw true commitment to excellence from them. Then, I watched as they supported each other. When one group didn’t place, they still supported the groups that did.

The most amazing thing for me, though, happened on the bus ride home. As we were stopping for dinner in Russellville, we all found out that our bus driver’s wife’s birthday was that day. And he had been trapped on a bus with us all day long. The kids apologized and cared more than any group of kids could have. Then, while we were eating, they all decided that we should do something nice for the bus driver.

They wanted to get him a gift card to take his wife out to eat in case he missed dinner with her on her birthday. Yeap, that’s right. Danny and I sat back and watched as they cared about someone that they didn’t even know. Today, we’ll take up a donation for him and make it happen. All of the NHD kids will sign the card and New Tech will once again be a positive impact in a world of negative.

I was proud of them at the competition. I was proud of them in the weeks leading up to the competition as the practiced and prepped and received feedback from so many people. I was proud when all of the kids, the ones who placed and the ones who didn’t, only wanted to see their feedback so that they could do better next year. I was proud when they supported each other and had the philosophy that a win for New Tech was a win for New Tech.

The way that they organized and came together to show love and kindness to a man they barely knew… well, that was something completely different. People always talk about the youth of today, and they usually have something negative to say. I get to witness everyday why all of those people are wrong.

Congratulations New Tech Learners. I’m so proud of you.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, we had two third place finishes, two second place finishes, and one special award for women’s history. Both second place finishes will move on to nationals in Washington D.C.

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