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Protecting, Nurturing And Providing Opportunities For At Risk Youth, Particularly African American Males

1018 words - 5 pages

This issue is very near to my heart. The social problem that I’m writing about is African American young men that lack the opportunities early in life that result in them making bad choices that affect the rest of their life. Working with youth in an area where there are often few opportunities for kids in general to find ways to occupy themselves in positive exciting activities and to be certain of, that the goals they once completely felt were reachable but now see them as unreachable, is disturbing. Working with children who are living in the very circumstances that you read about or watch on television makes me constantly question, “How can we help these children and meet their necessities in ways that will take them into the next stage of their life in a positive way?” Having worked in an alternative school setting as a juvenile officer with majority of Black and Hispanic, I can connect to several key facts discussed in this paper. Reading and writing go hand in hand. I have had the gratification and the privilege to work with young men (and women) who are struggling students. I have witnessed firsthand how a youth who had at no time experienced the enjoyment of reading, unexpectedly find the real pleasure of words once they get the hang of it. Reading has a way of touching a person when nothing else will. Kids who are educated need to involve themselves in self-selected reading that will help not only academically, but also emotionally. They improve their sense of self -worth. I cannot express to you the happiness I feel when I see a young men who don’t even want to be in school all of a sudden transforms and ask “Can I get a book from the library?” I also can tell you about a young man who spoke those exact words. Reading turn into his happiness. He “asked” if he could read. Unfortunately, that young man is no longer with us. He was a fatality of an awful crime. He was full of life. He had finally found self-worth.
With the passing of that young man, I realized our children can be protected, but we need to have a desire and the funding to save them. I would like to know in what way those in my area of the country can continue to meet the needs of our kids. Sadly, like numerous places, our grant are cut. Where does that leave our youth? Where does it leave their future? Everyone talks about answers to crime and other issues afflicting the African-American male population, but the problem remains are we paying any attention to the massive majority of African-American males who are being confronted in virtually every kind of survival? There are quite a few African-American males finishing college and managing very positive lives in the United States. Still, the numbers reveal why the leaders in the United States should take a stern look at trying to aid young African-American male’s deal with society and surmount difficulty without falling victim to the many misfortunes of society. For example, sexual transmitted diseases are on...

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