I watched an interview of Eugene Lang, who founded the “I Have a Dream” Foundation in the 1980s. At a school where 75% of kids were dropping out, 93% of Lang’s “Dreamers” graduated from high school, and of that group about two-thirds went on to continue their education in college. When asked about the program’s success, Lang answered: “It’s not rocket science, really.” The basic functions of the program – like tutoring and mentoring – were nothing new. “The difference,” Lang concludes, “is that I did it.”
Sometimes the problem of “at-risk” youth seems so overwhelming that paralyzes us into inaction. It seems beyond our power to solve, so it’s easy to sit back and do nothing. But when we step back and see that they’re just kids, we recognize that they just want what all kids want: to be safe, to feel valued, to be successful. And all of us can help with that. It’s not rocket science.
Posted by guest blogger, Erica Lloyd, Program Director, The "I Have a Dream" Foundation, (434) 245-2520
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