by Jim Wambach, Executive Director
It’s not what is poured into a student, but what is planted. – Linda Conway
He who opens a school door, closes a prison. – Victor Hugo
Many of you have done so much to help “at-promise” children in the East Bay. Though Faith Network prefers not to label them “at risk”, these children, whether in elementary school or high school, do indeed face severe challenges – challenges that many of us understand, but often are not able to relate to in the same deeply personal and connected fashion that we might reserve for a family member.
As you have read from Bronwyn Harris’ story of one Oakland child, the children whom Faith Network works with are truly at risk for a life of poverty, violence, prison and/or premature death. Their “at-promise” status is denied them simply because they were born to or live in a neighborhood that is substantially under-resourced and, in many cases, undervalued by our society. This tragedy is occurring EVERY day, and it insidiously drains the hope from thousands of wonderful children right here in our own backyard.
For these children, there are critical and very real crossroads in their young lives. We must act now – and with the outrage and sense of urgency we have for our own children. We must feel that outrage to the point of doing whatever is necessary to make sure children in our community, when faced with such adversity, are given the love, guidance, and support to stay off the path leading to despair and tragedy, and remain on – or rejoin – the path leading to promise and hope.
Make it a top priority to let your neighbors and friends know there is an opportunity to make a real and lasting difference in a child’s life – and how much each passing day matters. We can monetarily and prayerfully support more volunteers – increasing the community’s engagement and commitment to help children realize their potential and follow a path of love and hope – the hope of a rich and fulfilling life and the ability to one day give back to and strengthen their community.
For the children,