This morning, YHC had the special privilege of meeting with a young man at Lake Murray Elementary School who has been identified as “at risk”. When you hear that term “at risk”, if you are like me, you may be thinking of a child who has a bad attitude, stays in trouble, struggles academically, and if we are being honest, may not be the kind of child you want your child hanging out with. The reality is, “at risk” is painted with a very broad stroke by definition. One example of an “at risk” student is a child being raised by a single parent. There are a lot of factors that go into categorizing a student as at risk, but it’s not meant to be a label. It’s meant as a signal to those in the education system as a sign that this child’s situation or circumstances has dealt them a bad hand, and we all owe it to them to help them out.
When Ken Doll announced that he was stepping away from his duties as the Nantan of our region, he also announced that something had been on his heart, and he felt the need to act. After the Parkland school shooting, many details came out about the shooter. This weighed heavy on him and he reached out to the pax for help. He knew that if we can get to some of these kids early, as a positive male role model, we may be able to prevent something like this happening in our community. True to form, the pax of our region have stepped up and nearly 50 #HIM’s are entering our schools to make a difference.
Back to this morning. That “at risk” child that I got to hang out with, he just happens to be incredibly smart, thoughtful, caring, and an overall amazing child of God. He also happens to not have many men in his life that are positive influences. This young man has the ability to do anything he wants in this world, in spite of his circumstances. What he needs is to see that someone cares about him, believes in him, and will help him believe in himself. He needs to see what a man who works hard, cares about his family, and his community looks like.
We are lucky to live in an area like we do. We are all very fortunate. If we want to continue to be “more than a workout group”, get involved and make a difference. You’ll be surprised how much it helps you as well.