Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Positive Change Continues to Abound in Memphis

For three years now I have been deeply entrenched within Georgia Avenue Elementary which is the elementary school located in the 38126 zip code of Memphis.  This zip code is the third most impoverished zip code in the nation.  The average yearly family income in this area is less than $11,000.00 per year.  These children face challenges on a daily basis that most of us will never experience once in our lifetimes.  I have become extremely attached to these children, and I am passionate about the plight of Streets Ministries; to break the vicious cycle of poverty and let these children know that there are people that care about them and support their dreams.

President Obama's presence and speech at the Booker T. Washington High School Commencement on Monday in the 38126 zip code of Memphis was both exciting and uplifting for the city of Memphis and for the children of the 38126.  His presence shows these kids that there is another way; a better way, and that their dreams can become reality.  Thank you President Obama for believing in Memphis and for helping our at risk children realize that they can achieve success in this life.     

On May 12, 2011, my big hearted team gathered at Georgia Avenue Elementary for our fourth and final party of the year for some amazing third graders.  We had a pizza party, and the kids loved it!  My friend and team member Carly Knight, Promotions Manager for the Memphis Grizzlies, surprised the kids with Grizzlies bags filled with bobblehead dolls and replicas of the Grizzlies' home court.  The kids went wild, and why shouldn't they?  Our Grizzlies were only one game away from the NBA Western Conference Championship this year!  Go Grizz!

Devon and me; we have made a great team for the last three years.  I love this kid dearly, and I am extremely proud of the young man he has become.

On May 13, 2011, I returned to Georgia Avenue Elementary for the school's annual Field Day where I served as the resident face painter for the day!  Flowers, butterflies, rainbows, and dragons were among the most requested!  I had such a great time celebrating a great school year with these kids.  I am astonished and inspired by their strength and determination to overcome some seemingly insurmountable odds.

I am so proud of my city and our people.  Although we continue to face challenges, positive change abounds in Memphis, and that makes these very exciting times!    

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