A Different Kind of Gift

On Atlanta’s West side, a young woman gripped by a world of pleasure, fast money, and exotic dancing stands at the door to the room in which she sleeps and works. She’s come back from ending her second pregnancy. She teeters on an edge. On one side, the path stretches far, spirals downward. It grows darker as it goes. On the other, embrace, forgiveness. In every way, the light that opposes the darkness. Which way will she fall?

In Nigeria now, the potent stench of a slum steeped in neglect floods the senses. Boys asked to become men before they could be boys stand wielding weapons, encouraged by the radical extremists to do whatever it takes. Taken advantage of from the time he could walk, one boy still has a drop of light left in his gaze. Like the woman in the Westside, he, too, stands at that edge.

Youth are out there, and our ability to make a difference in their lives is right in front of us. In a way, we stand at an edge, too. To our left, we sit idly by. To our right, we choose to invest in the lives of young people.

Nothing matters more than what a young person will become. Boy With a Ball has not only known this but believed it, practiced it, lived it for 15 years. All those years ago, when we launched in San Antonio we kick-started our mission on the dream of building teams like leagues of superheroes who could go into cities and neighborhoods to help hurting youth make it.

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