July 18th 2012
A few years ago a book was published called The Pact. It chronicled the story of three friends who grew up in the inner city of Newark, NJ. Early in their lives, these young men made a "pact" to hold one another accountable, to inspire one another, to challenge one another, and to keep each other out of trouble. Despite amazing odds, the three young men all made it through college and are successful. The book’s theme is powerful: Friendships can make a more significant impact than families for kids growing up in under-resourced communities.
This morning I met "The Boys of Promise" in Miami. Justin, Pookie, and Jerry all grew up in UrbanPromise Camden. Summer campers. Streetleaders. Jerry graduated from our high school. They are all in college. They all want to get their Master's degrees. Most importantly, they are running the summer camp of 130 children in Little Havana, Miami—and doing a remarkable job.
"We keep each other focused," shared Justin. "We inspire each other."
Never did I imagine that I would see the day when UP Camden alumni would travel to new cities to birth new programs. But that's what is happening. Young leaders from Camden are spreading their wings, embracing this vision of promise, and impacting new communities around the world.
If you ever doubt that your investment over the years has made a difference, just remember “The Boys of Promise” in Miami.