Faith's Place handled 85 students this past school year. Its summer camp ran at capacity, providing music, dance and arts training as well as homework assistance, character building and etiquette.
At the West Palm Beach City commission's
Then they were off to a performance at
Lockhart-Mays, 37, a
Question: How did you get started with this?
Answer: I was teaching for 12 years in the
Q: You're competing with a lot of a negative influence in the media, in their neighborhoods. That's a tall order.
A:We're in the thick of it. Public housing is surrounding us. But at the same time, I think children crave direction. When you give them respect, they give it right back. You give me the most challenging student, and if you give me 24 hours with that child you'll see a turnaround.
Q: How far have you come in two years?
A: We started with 12 students. We're now at 90.
Q: How important is it to show the community that often all a kid needs is a little help?
A: The children would not be on the street, we would not have high-school children dropouts, if we just showed them a little love. They come from homes where they don't get a lot of love. A lot of my students, they look for love in gangs. I had a student last year. He hasn't come back yet. I saw him when I was driving. It broke my heart. He just ran up to my van. He told me last week that he's coming back. The street is calling him. They're calling his name. He thinks that that's love. But it's not.
Q: Is this something other groups could emulate?
A: Absolutely. I believe that there are other groups that have done it. But you have to really stick to it. There's no money in nonprofits. But I did it so people who want to donate, they can.
Q: Are you going to do this for a while?
A: I have no interest in going back to the school district. We're gaining momentum.
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