Be the Cause

Growing Up…

(a story from Manuri’s 8th grade teacher)

As a teacher all my students are special in their own way, but I’ve formed a special bond with just a few. Manuri was in my ELD English Newcomer class when she first arrived in the U.S in the 8th grade, and she was one of those students that you couldn’t help but love. Bellflower High School is kind of unique in that students attend there from 7th grade through graduation, so we get to watch our students change from shy little middle school students to confident young men and women. I feel truly blessed that I have also had the opportunity to continue to know Manuri after High School, and I’m so proud of the woman that she has become. She is truly beautiful inside and out. She has the type of beauty that can only come from a loving spirit. It glows from inside out. I’m so happy that she has become a humanitarian and shares her love with others.

Manuri got me involved with Seva Cafe. I attended as a customer the first week it was open and felt that it was a really unique experience. The energy was so positive and loving and I knew that it was something in which I wanted to participate. There is so much hate and violence in the world today, it is so nice to be in an environment that whole purpose is to promote love and peace and caring for our fellow man.

I volunteered last Saturday night and I was on dish duty. As a teacher I always have to be in the forefront and in charge. It was a nice change working in the background and being able to contribute without having to be in control. Obviously, I was one of the oldest volunteers but I was made to feel so welcome and appreciated.

The whole experience was just wonderful for me. I was definitely tired after my shift Saturday night but I was also energized. It gives me hope to see so many young people working so hard to promote peace and love, and making a difference. I will definitely be thinking of Sevas Cafe when I look at the faces of those little 8th graders when I go back to school in September and wondering what is is they will do to make a difference.

Thanks again for allowing me to participate. It was a wonderful experience.



  • Sukh

    What a beatuiful entry! To see Seva Cafes in the faces of the children, to see service as our future. Hopefully the youth of today will take a hard look at the world and realize the choices that they have… to move their lives in a direction towards fear, or to move their lives in a direction towards Love.

    Suzanne, thank you for bringing all that you do into our lives. … and for planting the seeds of service into all the children that you teach. If you are teacher, the future is in good hands.

  • Thank you Suzanne for the warmth in your words. You are right… when we work in the hidden corners of the room, where no one is watching our efforts… we enter the hidden spaces within our own selves. This is where the real work starts happening. We get to visit those invisible corners in our minds and parts of us that were never revealed before now start exposing themselves. And the layers of cravings and expectations of recognition start to very slowly peel away.

    Also Suzanne, I want to especially thank you for being Manuri’s Teacher. You have given us all a precious gift. Through the course of knowing Manuri… I have seen her personality truly blossom. She does have a light… that seems to fill the entire room with its warm glow.
    Nirali :)

  • Manuri


  • sheetal

    Dear Manuri,
    Now i know how you turned out to be who you are. with a teacher like that anyone would.
    great to know that a teacher sees seva cafe in the children she will teach.
    my prayers go for that.

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