Where have you been? A question that has been asked of me several times in the last couple of weeks. People have emailed and called asking why I haven't posted in over a month. I tell them it was because I really wanted Isaiah's story to remain in the forefront and because I was completely consumed with working on a worthy project for some very special kids. I would like to take this opportunity to share what I have been doing. Something that is dear to me and something that I think is really important for others to understand.
If you don't know, in addition to working with teens, I am the founder and executive director of Achievement Services, Inc. (http://www.achievementservices.org/) It's a nonprofit organization that partners with low-performing schools to design and implement out-of-school academic learning opportunities for at-risk students in Baltimore City. It's really cool because I get to act like an "architect" of education....meaning I have the autonomy to study a school, its students, parents and staff and together with a team of advisors, we design a program to meet the needs of that particular school. Our goal is to get kids to like learning and to learn, particularly in reading and math. This past month, I was charged with the task of soley applying for federal funding to implement a program at a Baltimore City School. Achievement Services and helping kids learn and achieve is my passion.
What is your passion? What is it that makes you smile, feel good and want to share with everyone? What is it that gets you up in the morning, regardless of pay? What is it that you feel is your personal calling? For me, that passion would be to find a way to help children achieve beyond the expectations of themselves and others. For me that passion is putting kids in a safe place with safe people and giving them the tools to learn and want to learn in fun, exciting and engaging ways. It there were any downside, it would be the fact that I have to CONSTANTLY worry about having enough money to operate such needed programs for children that will produce countless benefits to kids, families, schools, communities and societies. There is no better money spent than money spent on education for kids. I'll never understand why our society will pay athletes, singers and actors enormous and unimaginable amounts of money and dare say there is not enough money for education, afterschool programs and other learning opportunities that will help to advance others, particularly kids. I wish someone could help me to understand the logic.
So, I am back. Back working with teenagers and back learning from them, as I do each and every day. If you have a passion that is about helping kids, let me encourage you to pursue that passion. The kids need our help, today and always.