This is a photo from a graduation ceremony I attended at the Fugees Academy (the only school in the USA specifically for refugee children-of-war) in Clarkston, Georgia (the most diverse square mile in the USA). The school will be graduating its first female student next month —and founder, Luma Mufleh (known as Coach to the students, and recipient of more awards than I can count and someone whose path I’ve had the good fortune to cross numerous times during the past ten years) will be graduating, in a way, as well.
The Fugees Academy is going national with its soon-to-open second school in Columbus, OH, and Coach and her family are moving there. I simply cannot imagine Clarkston without her. However, in this recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she shares how welcoming Ohio has been to her mission, and I know without a doubt that she will continue her great success there.
I am in Clarkston twice a week for the next two weeks, and I hope to cross paths with Luma one last time while I’m out and about riding. Having known her has had a very large impact on my life, in ways she doesn’t even realize. In ways I may not yet realize, in fact.
Note: there’s a story about some of the Fugees Academy students in my book, Traveling at the Speed of Bike that you may enjoy.