Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Meeting President-Elect Obama Halfway

Now that the 2008 Election season has passed, I am challenging all of you to meet President-Elect Barack Obama half way. On election night Barack Obama said he needed each of us to assist him in making change happen in America. I believe one of the most important ways of making change possible is by actively participating in the lives of children.

We have all heard the alarming statistics measuring the success rate of children living in both urban and rural America. Billions of donations have been made for many years to aid neighborhoods in crime prevention, educational, and life enrichment programs for these children. Yet, far too often we find that many of America's youth continue the family cycle of drug use, involvement in crime and incarceration, teenage pregnancy, etc.

My challenge to you is to be more active in your community.

Although non-profits love receiving your donation dollars, especially in these difficult economic times, the value of pairing up with someone who could benefit from your experience goes beyond words. Community mentors are pivotal in communities that continue to see high crime rates and poor education programs.

I have been a community mentor since my Senior year in High School. That's right. I was a part of programs on campus that catered to Elementary aged students, including reading programs and drug education programs that visited area schools. My involvement in youth programs continued while working with organizations like the Salvation Army, and even now a program out of Atlanta called Fifteen. I am committed to making sure that my success is not in vain.

See my mentee's story on Essential 2 Life's Website.

This is just merely one example of meeting President-Elect Obama half way.

I know plenty of family members who assist other children in the family on different needs. Sometimes helping those really close to you is an easier way to transition in to being actively involved in the lives of others. So if mentoring a "random" child/teenager in the neighborhood does not sit well with you, perhaps helping another family member could be sufficient. And by the way, this does not necessarily translate into loaning people money. I am more concerned with loaning time and fellowship.

There are numerous ways to get involved with your community, contact the local community organizations in your area to find in what ways your talents/experiences could better assist your neighbors.


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