Posted by Katie Ehrlich, Mi Casa Intern
On Friday, January 21, the Mi Casa Neighborhood Center at Lake Middle School welcomed Stephen Brackett, aka Brer Rabbit, singer for the Colorado-based band the Flobots. From the moment Brackett’s 6’5” frame darkened the doorway of the Neighborhood Center, both staff members and afterschoolers could barely contain their excitement.
Brackett opened his presentation to the kids by asking them to breathe like Darth Vader. One of Mi Casa’s faithful afterschool frequent-flyers A.J. gave the group a rather life-like (or should we say movie-like) impression. Then Mr. Brackett had all the kids follow suit, getting them to beat their chest in between breaths and weaving a rap off their beat. Then he had all the kids sit in a circle around him and opened the floor to questions. We found out that Brer Rabbit has a Nissan Cube; started his band in 1994 when he was in high school; is about to go to Israel; has a busy and sometimes lonely life as a rock star (all that traveling!); that he in fact has not met Justin Bieber; and that he has gone to the bathroom with famous people before.
As a closing thought, Brackett asked who in the room is in college and plans to go to college. He answered the multitude of raised hands with a smile and a brief pep talk on how his music is meant to inspire kids like the Mi Casa afterschoolers to reach for a successful future. With that, the circle dispersed, and Brackett was immediately engulfed by a group of girls. Tons of the kids (and even our own staff member Cody Buchanan) got autographs, some recited songs and poetry to Brackett, and some just chatted.
Brer Rabbit left the Mi Casa Neighborhood Center amid a flurry of handshakes, smiles and well-wishes. His visit was a rare and special experience for the kids and adults at the Neighborhood Center. Mi Casa would like to express our deepest gratitude to Mr. Brackett who–despite an impossibly busy schedule–found time to offer inspiration to the great kids who participate in Mi Casa’s afterschool programs.