As a multi award-winning youth and social activist and pastor, I pledged from my heart to always leave space on my list of things to do to host social outreach programs that empower youth and teens. This is my passion and claim to fame as a recipient of over 130 awards for empowering youths, families […]
As a multi award-winning youth and social activist and pastor, I pledged from my heart to always leave space on my list of things to do to host social outreach programs that empower youth and teens. This is my passion and claim to fame as a recipient of over 130 awards for empowering youths, families and communities.
In spite of the lack of funding support that many local but effective nonprofits receive from our Prince George’s County Council members, we must remain relentless in our pursuit to save our children and teens from inflicting violence on others, or even becoming a victim of someone else’s ungodly deeds that impact society as a whole!
Leaders, educators and political leaders must change the way they think. One way to start is by calling on passionate but effective youth advocates who are out in the streets making a difference – not in board rooms making decisions and trying to think of effective ways to reach our children. The culture of our public schools also needs to change and be reworked. We do not necessarily need more security but more spiritual empowerment programs that positively empower and promote character development.
We also need chief executive officers of schools who will let advocates into their schools to conduct not only assemblies that address violence, but assemblies that promote character development for the 21st century perspective.
I remember Dr. Eric Wood, a principal I once worked for during his tenure in Prince George’s County Schools. He gave me the freedom to start the first after-school bible study. He took a risk, in spite of the naysayers that had tried to discourage him from doing it because of the supposed religion/education conflict.
I still remember like it was yesterday my tiny office would be flooded with more than 20 middle school students of various ethnic groups. These kids had lost their way by getting into trouble, drinking, using drugs and dishonoring their parents. I sacrificed my time and resources to teach these children about real life principles. Our study book was the Bible!
When I was absent from school or was running late, those teens would be angry or would beat me to my office demanding that I show up. Most of them never missed a single lesson and many successfully overcame their problems that were leading them down a destructive path.
Every parent of those teens came back to thank me for making a sacrifice. And, more importantly, those kids thanked me for caring about their lives. And I in turn thanked Dr. Wood for the wonderful partnership and letting me do what I do best – which is “empower.”
We don’t necessary need prayer back in schools. However, we need people who are creative thinkers and who know how to reach young people with every fiber of their being. Everything can be re-packaged, including prayer and religion.