“Love thy neighbor near or far, rich or poor. For the neighbor you chose to ignore, may be the one you will need to love you and your family even more.”
When I am out and about in my neighborhood, I observe children playing outside and when I focus on their interactions, I envision what could make their daily experiences better. I see so much potential and promise in their eyes as they try to create and plan out their own daily activities. Now that it is summer, I know that most parents are working and children are either being watched by their grandparents or some kids are watching themselves until their parents come home from work. Some parents are home with their children and may not know where to start if they had a bright idea that would help the families in their own communities.
Furthermore, in my neighborhood, I am sure that some parents may not be able to afford academic enriching camps for all of their children. Consequently, their children have to play outside most of the day or play with their video games, cell phones, tablets, and toys in order to keep themselves occupied. Some children if they are lucky, can go to the neighborhood pool or playground for entertainment. However, outside of the normal day of play, my eyes visualize much more profound experiences especially in the low and middle income neighborhoods.
So come to our neighborhood: corporate leaders, professionals, celebrities, and politicians. Love my neighbors and let me see you participate more and donate your time as well as your resources to make each summer more memorable than the last for our children. Although, we just had our local elections, there is still more work to be done by our politicians. We don’t want to only see you during campaigning time, but during times of dire need for your compassionate community service! In fact, I believe the summer break is the best time to close the achievement gap with innovative programs that will encourage students to become more active participants during the school year. I recall seeing the excitement on my former students’ faces when they would share their experiences or when they could relate to the topics that we were discussing with their prior knowledge based on “an unforgettable experience”. So love my neighbors and provide them with learning experiences they will never forget!!
Moreover, in my neighborhood, I’ve received flyers in the mail from politicians, but not one knock on my door. Also, I’ve driven by signs in my neighborhood asking for my vote, however, no one has driven to my neighborhood in order to address my concerns as a voter. So please come to my neighborhood – walk with me, talk with me, and team up with me so we can create a new reality. Thus, I encourage those leaders, who really want to be a change agent and are not in this political race just for the popularity contest. However, I would love to see leaders spending more time and money on creating opportunities for “our children to be popular” for doing positive acts due to your political or social influence.
Additionally, I urge leaders to come to my neighborhood and survey our children about their dreams. Not survey their concerns in order to prepare a dynamite campaign speech, but to actually listen with the intentions of making their dreams a reality and priority, especially for children who live in single parent homes or for the grandmother who is raising her grand children on her own. I know for a fact that when you give children as well as families positive attention, they will welcome you into their lives; consequently they will be inspired to live a prosperous life because of the light you’ve shined on them. Thus, I welcome you to my neighborhood because we deserve prosperous lives too! Prosperity is not just an outward appearance, but a soul with purpose! Hence, it should be community members’ commitment to seek lost souls and assist them with discovering his or her soul’s purpose and mission on this earth! Therefore, love my neighbors and help them to empower their self-worth!
Now is the time for us to correct the wrongs of the people who designed our (low income and people of color) lives, to be socially and racially divided. We need to exchange our economic and political status as a main priority with more community cooperatives. Eliminating unjust capitalistic projects and allowing the so-called projects to become capital for the people who live there. Expand our neighborhoods from the inside, not eradicate their legacies with political inside agendas. We must replace greed with assisting those who are need. We must empower the powerless in order for our global society to succeed. We must allow every neighborhood be a part of creating its own mission so our global society as a whole will win with pride and dignity. My vision for our neighborhoods across America and the world is a unifying concept that all races, religions, and income levels can and will benefit from by working together as neighbors to plan purposeful prosperous outcomes.
One of my educational solutions for our neighborhoods is an annual mobile summer camp that will encompass mobile mentoring and experiential learning labs that will deliver career exposure and life skills to children in our local communities. This convenient community concept will initiate an innovative academic program that will bring local leaders, career camps, and enrichment activities to low and middle income neighborhoods. This, for sure, will help families develop the 21st century skills needed to create a safer, mentally conscious, productive, employable, and prosperous society. Here is an example of how this “prosperity plan” can and will work. Let’s use the traditional “marketing mix” in order to organize this mobile ministry.
This annual mobile summer camp campaign will provide real-world academic connections and career awareness for school-aged children with the assistance of corporations, local small businesses, professionals, college students, and community members. A mobile vehicle will transport learning tools, workshop lesson materials, technology, and interactive lessons accessible. The actual vehicle can also be managed as an outdoor laboratory. Weekly themes that include Reading, Writing, Performing Arts, Science and Math, as well as, Business Education and Financial Literacy will be provided. Can you imagine a Musical and Mathematic Monday? Music and math teachers as well as college students with majors related to the weekly academic themes to provide our children with college and career awareness. Also, the local school system could team up with the local Guitar Center and private businesses that will provide experiential instruction and materials to execute interactive lessons about music-related fractions, the symbolism in reading music, or the science of sound and harmony. Then, at the end of the week, the neighborhood could build a band, compose songs, and demonstrate what they’ve learned academically. Yes, there are camps like this available, but are they coming to our low to middle income neighborhoods providing an equal opportunity for academic and career success?
This mobile summer camp service will conveniently visit neighborhoods in order to provide technology-based learning. Also, a large tent or mobile classroom trailer could be placed in a central location within walking distance of our local neighbors to offer hands-on experiential learning workshops. This could be an exciting exchange of information between teachers, local businesses, politicians, and families to identify as well as address the needs of the community. So all community members have to do is show up and that is the place and opportunity for distribution. Distribution is basically time, money, support, and resources to those who need it and when they need it! Once the locations are determined by each community, the opportunities are endless for children, parents, businesses, and the school system! I get excited just envisioning everyone involved! I believe this is what Common Core desires to be the outcome of our new education reform in the long run!
The mobile vehicle will have signage that promotes this community collaboration. In addition, teen age volunteers can receive service learning hours or a scholarship based on marketing the services that will be offered to support this mobile summer camp initiative. Children in each neighborhood would have the chance to develop their leadership and presentation skills with their innovative ideas. Also, politicians and local businesses will have a direct marketing opportunity to strategically connect with families as well as brand their mission to the local community, which will be profitable for all that are involved!!
The financing can be set up as a neighborhood mutual fund that will be opened at the community’s local credit union or bank. Each neighbor can donate an affordable amount monthly, quarterly, or annually to be pooled together in order to provide the weekly events, which will be matched by local businesses as well as politicians. Parents, children, and the local schools will have quarterly meetings to discuss the expenditures for the “prosperity program” and how it will be managed. I believe economically having everyone participate in their own personal and professional development is priceless which will offset the negative costs of a neighborhood that is not being supported! We cannot allow another summer to go by without bringing learning opportunities to our children as a part of our equity policy that will ensure educational justice for all! It’s time to integrate spirituality with politics in order for decisions to be enforced with moral judgment toward our promising children of “all” races and backgrounds!
Often in our society we witness people in political power playing the role of God and trying to control other people’s destiny. However, I believe that no one or social group have the right to control people’s lives because we are “one” human race with “equal” potential to make this world better collectively. Thus, separating the natural laws of humanity is breaking the divine laws of the universe. Therefore, we need divine order with the chaos that some of our children are experiencing or facing due to those who are negatively intervening with divine order. However, we cannot achieve divine order if we are not making efforts to help all children discover their true purpose in life. So allow the light of your love to shine on and shape our community by loving your neighbor as you love yourself. Home should be wherever you go and no child or family should be treated like they do not have the right to succeed or prosper!
In closing, this “prosperity program, which is a mobile mentoring and experiential learning lab will collectively involve community members, teachers who will collaborate with industry workers to provide both career and life lessons. I will be discussing more of these simple ideas and topics in my book that I would like to have published by 2015. Additionally, my book will cover three areas of change that I believe will impact our lives in the heart of education:
1. The Human Race – In the first section, I provide a motivational approach with acknowledging that “We are All Achievers” and how that belief system can close achievement gaps for our children within the school system. I further share that “we are achievers” as a human race when we do not see color, religion, gender, income, or circumstance as a measurement of success, but when we provide personal support for all individuals to develop their talents based on love and respect for their life’s purpose!
2. Corporate Communities – In this section, I focus on the business partner network that is necessary to not only fund academic programs, but provide the professional development needed for students and teachers to experience on-the-job training through school application projects, internships, and entrepreneurship opportunities. I, also, talk about hiring more non-traditional teachers and partnering with financial institutions to provide more academically-centered incentives, as well as, financial strategies to prepare for our children’s futures.
3. Unity – My focus in the last section is on team work, compassionate leadership, and spiritual connections that will encourage everyone to embrace diversity as a collective effort within the school system, corporate America, and the political system. Relating to one another, governing ourselves, and empowering one another in order to be an interdependent nation is how unity is defined in this section.
So until my book is available to the public, please continue to support my writing efforts by following my monthly blog at www.competewithpurpose.wordpress.com. Love, Peace, and Prosperity to All!