We Don’t Make Excuses

“We don’t ever want the kids to be able to say we weren’t there.”

Edited by Welcome Project Intern Ella Speckhard

Transcript for We Don’t Make Excuses

I kind of feel like today the school is not the community resource that it used to be when I was a child. It’s more like, now, we throw the kids out of the school whereas when I was a child, it was like, more inviting to be there. There were so many programs and things for kids to do after school that, you know, literally they were the daycare providers, or after-school care providers. So, it’s a lot different now. I will say that, you know, and I’m not gonna sugarcoat it all, you know—it’s a lot of bad kids. I mean, it is, really. That’s like, a lot of bad kids. And I think that has a lot to do with, you know, parenting now, and the lack of support, and the lack of people wanting and asking for support. I think that there are programs out here, you know, to help, but, you know, people nowadays are just—they don’t want people in they business.

I think the opportunity for success is there. I mean, because—and I’ll just tell you like, stories like, I’ve been doing this for eighteen years in education so I’ve seen kids—I’ve seen, you know, kids that come from the worst projects in Gary be honor roll students. Conversely, I’ve seen kids that come from what we would probably call silver spoon situations, and drop out of school. So, no, I still say that it’s like, individual. I definitely wouldn’t pigeonhole any specific type of community or anything on somebody. It all depends on, you know, what drives them. Kids are kids. I’ll say this: if you keep a high expectation on them, you know, generally they’re gonna fight to get to that level that you expect of them.

I mean, like, technology and all that stuff–it’s just switched so fast, that these kids have their opinions, whereas—you know, when I was coming up, you know, we really didn’t have an opinion, you know? We couldn’t—what we thought wasn’t important, but these kids just so much more knowledgeable than we ever were, so if you’re old-school, and you feel like a kid speaking back is disrespectful, you know, then you’re gonna have an issue with those kids because these kids aren’t, you know, us, or they aren’t the way, you know, they were as children. If they don’t have an opportunity to speak it out in class, or in school, or in an educational way, then what do they do? They go on Facebook. They go on Instagram, you know, they go—they gonna get their word out, you know what I mean? You can’t—in this technology, you can’t stop it. And we didn’t have that—we didn’t have that media, you know, twenty years ago. We didn’t have the ability to speak our mind.

You know, we don’t make excuses. We just get out there and go at it every day, you know? Kind of like, our motto is that we don’t ever want the kids to be able to say that, you know, we weren’t there, so, you know, whether it’s two kids that shows up to weight conditioning or to study hall, you know, we’re there. You know, if I’m not there, somebody’s there, you know, and that type of thing, you know, to me, resonates because that’s what I remember as a youth, you know, I remember my coaches, you know, always being there for me, and not just athletically, you know? They would come to the barbecues, or they would come, you know, take you to the barbershop, you know? They would spend extra time with you as if, almost as if, you know, they were your surrogate parent. So, that’s pretty much it. You just need to have a lot of genuine people that continue to do, you know, service in the community to help children.

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