Service and Leadership: Small Ripples Can Make Big Waves in the World.
Someone shared the following article with me this morning and I thought it was the perfect inspiring story to share with our families. It really conveys what we believe here at K¹² -- when you help to remove barriers, children can achieve their innate personal potential. The story below, honoring Ronald Page for his leadership and service, is a great example of how small ripples can make big waves in the world.
Although Ronald was not a K¹² student, we have many students and families just like him, who inspire us daily and truly embrace the idea that “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”.
Hats off to you all!
From tragedy to success
Ronald Page knows that life can change in a second. Tragedy struck his family when Page’s brother and role model was murdered during a robbery at the job where he worked to support Page. “When my brother passed away, it was very hard for me,” Page said. “He was three years older than me. My brother was the man in my life. He taught me everything I know.”
In fact, Page’s entire early life was far from picturesque. He bounced around Miami shelters and low-income housing with his sick mother.
To turn his difficult upbringing into something positive, Page decided to become an example for inner-city youth. “I’m not perfect myself, but I think it’s important to be a role model, especially if you come from the inner city where kids don’t understand and aren’t taught that they can do better,” Page said.
For his leadership and service, Page was honored with a Student Leader award, one of hundreds across the country provided by Bank of America last year as part of the bank’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative.
“The Student Leader award tells me that there is someone out there that is listening, that there is someone that understands what I am doing, and I am grateful for that,” Page said
Page learned in his History class that dropout rates were higher for minority students, especially African- Americans, and he wanted to take action. “[My friend Andrew and I] started a program called the Shining Nights of Hope to mentor kids at Westview Middle School,” Page said. “We wanted to make sure they graduated high school and pursued a secondary education.”
Shining Nights of Hope ended as Page and his friends got older, but he still wanted to give back. After Page graduated, he stayed in his neighborhood and joined “5,000 Role Models of Excellence,” a dropout prevention program for young, minority boys who are at-risk of leaving school and choosing a life of crime. “[These kids] were raised in the inner city and came from backgrounds similar to mine. I tell them the old saying, ‘It doesn’t matter where you come from. It matters where you are going.’ And that is what I try to instill in them,” Page said.
Page makes a point of giving back to the Miami community. He recognizes that while he might not be able to change his neighborhood, he can change the people in it.
Page also leads by example. He was a member of the National Honor Society and Superior Honor Roll, as well as a dual enrollment student at Florida International University and a member of the College Assistance Program Council. Page interned at North Shore Hospital and Miami Jewish Home Hospital. He also volunteers at the Charles Hadley and the Jose Duarte Parks & Recreation departments.
“I want to make it clear: I’m not doing it for the recognition. I’m doing it to help the kids, and hopefully that will inspire them to help other kids when they grow up,” he said.
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