October 26, 2020
I woke up this morning and found this post from one of my students in Gary, Indiana on my Facebook feed. I love to see this type of initiative from our students. While Max is trying to raise funds for our athletics program, please read beyond that. The pain, the scars, the challenges of trying to succeed in Gary are real and stretch beyond athletics. These are his words, not mine.
Here is the message from Max:
Support us at 21st Century Charter School of Gary Athletics to give us the athletic season we’ve been fighting for. This year is going to push us further than ever before and the road only gets tougher from here. At a point in time, not even being considered a team worth mentioning to other schools in the state of Indiana. To go to a status of where one could argue, we were destined for a state championship with the amount of talent grown on our team. We have the scars of losing it and the pride to have trophies from the battles we won through sweat, blood, and tears. And it shows through the results that we present every single time someone tries to question why young boys do this. Multiple boys, transforming into young men, are making their way through college on the scholarships given to us by colleges who take the time out of their day to come and watch us. This type of road and opportunity only comes once in a lifetime so we have to make it count! ￼Coming from an environment of Gary, Indiana only being seen with the place where kids have the lowest chance of ever achieving success. With this, as young African-American children who are denied the possibility of success every day by unseen factors. We are given the possibility and chance to become the greatest in our own right from whatever path opens from this way of life we choose. Support us as we strive for a future during this time of cultural unrest and global epidemic. The fundraiser not only lets you support us but also gives you the benefit of receiving a card that can be used at your local domino’s to get a large pizza at the purchase of one! Help us maintain a path to a future that we’re not willing to let go!￼ 21st Century Charter School at Gary
Friends, just making it through high school in Gary is a feat. When we started in 2005 the dropout rate was 50%. Today, our students not only graduate on time, they are among the most successful in Indiana when it comes to college and career preparation and achievement. And Max is no exception! He is a junior earning 11 college credits this semester in business. He has a chance to earn a full associate degree (at no cost to him) while in our high school.
The families in Gary are among the best I’ve ever known. The love, the respect, the efforts they take to improve their future are extremely inspiring and it’s why I’m so committed to Gary. Our families work twice as hard as others–even if it means selling one slice of pizza at a time. They have to. Gary is a desert when it comes to philanthropy. Gary does not enjoy the same support I see so prevalent in Indianapolis–and yet one could argue the challenges in Gary are more challenging than anywhere in the state. If you can support Max’s pizza fundraiser, please do. If you would like to help in a bigger capacity, perhaps support college scholarships for our students, click here. Thanks.