Youth Opportunity Academy

Posted by Al Hathaway Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 1:00 p.m., I will participate in the commencement exercises of The Youth Opportunity Academy

I'm honored to be selected as their 2012 Commencement Speaker. The event will most likely not be televised. There will not be media reporters there. Nevertheless, something very significant will happen. Over 25 youth will graduate from high school and received their diplomas. The Youth Opportunity Academy is located in Sandtown Winchester. It serves students from that community as well as Uptown. The youth in this program has a perseverance ratio that few of us could ever understand.

To get to this point of graduating, they had to overcome personal trauma, disappointments, tragedy, abandonment, navigating through community forces that are designed to make them quit and join gang life, and very little family support.

The Good News is they made it.

They did not allow themselves to be defined by their context, but by their content. Biblically, "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world." These graduating youths are called to the greater. They are called to be greater than the streets of Sandtown Winchester. They are called to be greater than any force that is seeking to deny, to deter, or to detain them from becoming what God has for them. They are called to be greater than any family legacy they may have inherited.

They are great youth graduating from a great academy. I'm excited to be able to share a word with these graduates today because they are examples of our great youth of today.  

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