As I read or hear about the good and positive things that people have done or are currently doing in our nation, I cannot help but be filled with a sense of pride. Although America has its fair share of problems and struggles, there is always someone out there choosing to make a positive difference. I love my country.
As I think back on historical figures or even modern day people, I will begin to acknowledge some of their achievements by giving them a shout-out of recognition.
Having said that, today I want to applaud the great work and relentless effort of a New York educator. His name is Geoffrey Canada. I first became aware of him in an article I saw titled Man on a Mission in the September 2010 issue of the AARP Bulletin.
According to this article, “New York educator Geoffrey Canada has made great strides in helping inner city children stay in school with his innovative work as CEO and president of the Harlem Children’s Zone.”
The 58 year old educator is the subject of a new documentary entitled, Waiting for Superman. It is scheduled to be shown in theaters nationwide in October of this year. At the Sundance Film Festival it received the Audience Award. Now that is no small feat.
Canada states, “There is a crisis in education. The documentary shows that something can be done and that citizens have to take action”.
The Harlem’s Children’s Zone Project began in 1997. The specific area that it includes is currently in Central Harlem. By the year 2011 it is their goal to serve over 10,000 children with an array of services.
One thing I find most interesting about this project is that it follows up with the child from birth and through their college years.
Mr. Canada’s work has been featured on many popular radio and television shows as well as in the print media. He has also rightfully been the recipient of many awards.
His work is an outstanding example of what a person and an organization can do with determination coupled with a “never-say die attitude”.
Mr. Canada, you are Today’s American Hero. Your work and achievements are to be commended.
AARP Bulletin, September 2010, page 8