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On-Site Staff / Opinion / Staff Leadership and Management

How One Kid Can Change How I View The Country Today?

This morning I enjoyed two, over-easy, eggs, a blueberry muffin, hash browns, and a coffee.  I never eat that much for breakfast but happened to have had at a meeting at a great, local, joint.

I have struggled with what to blog about this fall. There is so much going on in our country. Elected officials are at war. Politicians are yelling over each other vs listening. Anger. Fear. You would think I would have a million ideas to share.

But, I find myself raw, angry and struggling for words.

Then I thought about a 1st grader I met on a site visit last week. As I walked into the program in South LA, Maurice approached me and asked confidently, “what is your name?” I answered.  He responded, “how do you define ‘Brad’?”  This is a brilliant question. Who am I? What is my role in our community and country? What is my ‘why’?


Maurice reminded me that the work we do is critically important and our clients deserve excellence. We lift up communities through education, social justice, and creating opportunities for better living. We encourage our staff to do better, to continuously improve and grow.


We work as a team, encouraging each other to be creative and innovative, to learn from failures and take risks in order to grow.

Our clients are diverse in their positions and needs. Students, parents, school leaders, colleagues: all are our clients. And, strong client relationships are the key to our success and sustainability.

Maurice is the ‘why’!  It will take time and work to get our country back on track but we have a lot of kids out there who need us to do that work.  Lately, it is hard to get out of bed because I am scared to turn on the news.

But, Maurice …and Shanette, Ernie, Jimmy, and Raphael…need me…and us… to stand up and fight.

Thank you for the work you do every day to keep build up our communities through education and empowerment.

See what I ate for breakfast at the beginning of the article, maybe you’ll read it twice and connect to your ‘why’ too.

Author: @blupien

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