Actress and Poet Doesn’t Write Off Kids

One of the worst problems in this country today, I think, is our societal tendency to  throw away kids, write them off-  especially poor kids, especially poor teens and young adults…You know what I mean- looking at some kid’s neighborhood, family, or even disability- whatever it might be, and deciding he or she isn’t going to amount to anything and is someone else’s problem.  Thousands and thousands of kids get thrown away and we’re sort of used to it as a society.

You know I admire how my brother, his wife, my sister, and her husband all have devoted their professional lives and often their personal time to getting involved with kids who society often dismisses.  I respect anyone who does this work because it’s rewarding, or so I’ve heard, but it’s tough and they do it anyhow.  And it’s necessary.

So, when I  came across an article of about actress Sonja Sohn  best known for THE WIRE and also as a slam poet,  I wanted to share it since One Page for is focusing on kids this year 

 Sohn’s doing something to help teens and young adults who many people may want to write off. 

Through the University of Maryland School of Social Work, started a program called REWIRED FOR CHANGE in the tough Baltimore neighborhood where her old show was based.  Among many other tasks, Sohn has spent time, hands-on, mentoring and running the program’s sessions herself, drawing motivation from her own tough childhood.

Here is the article: Washington Post on Sohn’s Rewired For Life.  

If you aren’t in the mood to read, check out the really quick and inspiring video about Sohn and her program

And here’s the website for  REWIRED FOR CHANGE  — see how Ms. Sohn and her dedicated colleagues (and many other stars of THE WIRE)  are making a difference.

I realized this story is  also interesting to me, as a writer, because Ms. Sohn uses THE WIRE as a jumping off point to get the young people in her groups talking to each other and examining their own lives.  We all know media can be a powerful influnce but we forget sometimes that this influence can be positive. It’s also great to see how someone who is an artist is also a hands-on participant in “community building” in a concrete way.   She’s a  role model not just for kids but for artists.

I realize now this issue of “throwing kids away in America” has got to be a big part of of my year-long kid-centered exploration  in 2012. We’ll see where it leads the blog and me.  Thoughts on this issue?

 

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