Choose to See the Good Things

Choose to see the good things
by Julia Hockenberry

I am standing by the front doors of the Boys & Girls Club of Henderson County. Victor has just clambered off the school bus and is racing towards me, clutching a lopsided tower of cardboard and toilet paper rolls. It is covered with what appears to be slightly coagulated ketchup? Could that be right?

Introducing Manny Acosta, 2015 North Carolina Youth of the Year

I was once a shy boy too nervous to talk. I never really understood the world. Learning English when I started elementary school was really hard for me - I wasn’t comfortable with the language. My confidence gradually declined. I became what most people would call an introvert.

My father noticed me coming home each day after school to just lay in bed. He asked me, “How come you’re never with any friends like your brother?” I explained to him that I was shy. I felt awkward. But then he told me a story about his childhood that changed my whole perspective.

Happy Thanksgiving

It happened the other day. Two kids were brought up to the front office at our Boys & Girls Club. One was teasing the other. But it wasn’t a cheap shot plucked from the usual litany of childhood insults like having buck teeth or being the slowest one in the relay race. One kid was teasing the other about being homeless.

Child's Play

At the ripe old age of 11, Angelique is already a tough nut to crack. She’s a routine guest in my office for a myriad of troubles and glares at me darkly through her braids on this particular afternoon, arms cinched over her chest, mouth in a twist.

I have a great many things I need to say to Angelique, but each time I try to engage her, she refuses to speak to me. She rolls her eyes so far into the back of her head, I fear she might pull an optic muscle. She’s not having any of it.

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