While serving as a juvenile diversion officer, I had the opportunity to see how we use community service in the juvenile justice system. When I stepped into this juvenile justice role, the county attorney instructed me of some basic requirements he wanted included in the diversion contract.
One summery Friday night stands out in my memory. I had a house full of boys, as was typical and my strategy was to read a book until the wee hours of the morning when everyone quieted down. My oldest was 16, the next 14 and my youngest was 9. Finally about midnight, the house settled in and I turned out the light and went to sleep. I was awakened at 2:30 a.m. by a pounding on the door.
DoSomething.org, an organization focused on “helping young people rock causes they care about,” offers to help community-based projects and programs get off the ground with the DoSomething.org Seed Grant. Read on for eligibility guidelines and deadlines.
Stacey Strozier found her son lying in the street in a pool of blood. Sonya King prayed her baby wouldn’t get caught up with the wrong crowd. And Felecia Calhoun’s worried her son was a cocky kid who thought an education wasn’t all that important. The mothers of the L.E.A.D. Ambassadors — an Atlanta inner-city baseball team that thrives of civic-minded goodness and specializes in sending its players to colleges on scholarships — all have a story to tell. Having a story of adversity to tell is essentially a prerequisite of Ambassador founders, C.J. and Kelley Stewart.
By this time next year, Mendez Elder figures to be on a baseball scholarship at Georgia Tech, Clemson or Rice – the first person in his immediate family to go to college. The catcher is a top prospect in Georgia and was the only inner-city baseball player ever selected for June’s Perfect Game National Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla. On a recent warm, sunny Saturday morning, Mendez was at Perkerson Park on the south side of Atlanta, helping middle school kids work on their game. Mendez is a catcher with a rocket for an arm. But what he has to offer, any middle school player, regardless of position, would lap up.