This month, we celebrate the little things
It's been a hard month at Project Legacy, one of the most emotionally challenging in a long time.
The kind of month where we needed a criminal defense attorney, a therapist, a CD counselor, and a physician all in one, and not just for one young person — but five.
The kind of week where three kids agreed to talk to different professionals only when they heard that three of them were people of color. Because to our young people, this matters. To identify, relate to and share experiences with an individual that is encouraging them along the path to a better life. Representation is important.
And yet, in the midst of these hard times, I find some comfort in this: If it weren’t for these connections and collaborations we now have in place, one innocent man might be behind bars, and I’m not sure where any of the others would be or what would have happened to them.
When you grow up having to fight for survival all by yourself, it makes it very difficult to break these destructive patterns that will no longer help your survival. Instead, many of these patterns once known to allow for survival, now lead to your demise.
This is one of the hardest aspects of this work. The hard work of breaking old patterns, accepting help, addressing addictions. They are all part of healing, and yet they all require willingness. We can’t change anyone’s life, only they can do that.
And as we say here, some are ready, and some are not.
In the midst of this trying month, I received this text from a young man I haven’t heard from in a while. And although the week was challenging, when the tension and heaviness of life transformation let up for this brief moment, I was reminded of our why:
“Karen! I just wanted to say hi and thank you for motivating me to succeed. I’m doing so well and so happy with life right now! Work is going great and they see me as a manager in the future. I tried out for a semi pro soccer team in Rochester and made it! Thank you for believing in me.”
Healing. Happiness. Progress.
This is why we press on, even when it’s tough. Even when the funding doesn’t come through, and even when it does.
“Thank you for believing in me.”
Yes. We always will.