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The Power of One?

As an inner city elementary school teacher, my husband sees firsthand the staggering needs confronting youth in our community. Michael’s dad has been in jail since March; Isaiah is living with his grandma while his mother struggles to overcome her coke addiction; Samantha’s mom is struggling to pay the bills as a single parent. 

How can we possibly overcome the poverty, violence, drugs, gangs, crime and homelessness threatening youth in Philadelphia and in so many other areas? Can one person really make a difference for these kids? 

I admit I’ve been feeling pessimistic about it lately. It’s easier to just walk away from the problems; pack-up and move to the suburbs where I don’t encounter such stark need right on my own block. 

But deep down, I believe that it actually is possible for one person to make a difference in the life of a child, because I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen a shy, withdrawn child who has been neglected at home blossom under the guidance of a caring teacher. I’ve seen the hope that a loving foster parent can instill in a teen who has known nothing but heartache. I’ve seen kids in the neighborhood embrace futures of hope thanks to the positive outlets at their local afterschool program. 

So I say, yes, one person can make a major difference in the life of a child, whether as a teacher, baseball coach, mentor, or adoptive parent. When we are willing to be part of the solution we can make a significant impact in the way children grow up…one person at a time.