In January 2018, I went to see the musical “Hamilton” for the first time.  Like millions before me, I was blown away by the music but also incredibly inspired.  “Hamilton” is a powerful story of resilience, and it drives home the idea that truly anything is possible when you have an undying work ethic that nothing will stop you from making your dreams a reality.  But it’s not enough just to have drive – you must also believe in yourself and your ability to create the change you wish to see in the world.

The story about the actual making of “Hamilton” is equally inspiring, if not more so. Lin-Manuel Miranda took six years to write “Hamilton” and there are many accounts of his conversations with his wife during that time where he debated whether it was worth it for him to work so hard on a project that had little odds of succeeding.

When I first experienced “Hamilton” almost two years ago, I felt a sense of kinship to Miranda.  I knew that Ryan Banks Academy, like “Hamilton,” was something the world needed and though the challenges were great, I knew that I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, stop until the dream had become a reality.  From that point forward, listening to the “Hamilton” soundtrack has become a part of my journey to build RBA and I never cease to be inspired by the lyrics.

When two of our generous donors, Steven and Noelle Taslitz, offered to send RBA’s founding class of students to see “Hamilton” as a holiday gift, I was speechless to think that our students could experience the same inspiration from “Hamilton’s” story that has lit a fire under me.

Last Wednesday, we had an amazing day which included a stop at the Foodlife food court at Water Tower Place (thanks to our amazing friends at Lettuce Entertain You who sponsored our lunch) and then we stopped at the Bean at Millennium Park for some quick photos on our way to see “Hamilton”.  It was a day that none of us will ever forget.

As the “Hamilton” lyrics state, “There’s a million things we haven’t done, just you wait…. just you wait!”  

Thankful for you always,
Val Groth
RBA Founder & CEO