As an Educator, I have amassed first-hand knowledge of the needs of students (children.) The conditions of their home(s) and the location of their neighborhood(s) contribute to the state of their mind(s) and self-esteem. With positive motivation they overcome the challenging socio-economic conditions that confront them daily without their choosing. This has sharpened my eyes in diagnosing problems and seeking solutions.
It was during my travels across Metro Atlanta in preparation to celebrate Christmas 2002 that the impact of hopelessness in some neighborhoods captured my attention. As I discussed the wishes of Christmas gifts with a few young men it moved me to get into action immediately to effect change that would result in their wishes being granted. This gave birth to a program called ‘Dukes Make a Wish Reality.’
I called on a couple friends for financial support, the response was overwhelming with the first donation of five hundred dollars. I immediately assembled several young men. We journeyed to buy (them) new clothes & shoes and get them haircuts. After achieving those goals I took them to lunch and dinner then onto a tour of some of Atlanta’s upper income areas (to inspire and motivate them into aiming for excellence.) The gratitude for their wishes being granted was reflected on their faces and in their new found positive attitude. To GOD be the glory!
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