At age 14, Samantha Gerson was placed in a residential treatment center; but instead of help and healing, she experienced physical and emotional abuse. At first, Samantha tried to shut away what had happened to her, but then she realized she could make a difference for other teens who felt alone and scared. Her experience motivated her to find ways to support other youth in need, and to eventually work with lawmakers to change public policy focused on institutional abuse and conversion therapy.
Posts for February, 2018
When Shreya Mantha’s grandmother was diagnosed with a terminal illness, her last wish was for her two granddaughters to honor her memory by doing something to help vulnerable girls. Inspired by the example set by their parents – who engaged the girls in volunteering activities from a young age – Shreya and her younger sister Sahana set out to honor their grandmother’s wish by making a difference for at-risk girls in their hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Black History Month offers us a time to reflect on the many contributions African-Americans have made to this country and the world. Growing up as the children of hard-working parents in a melting pot community, the school my brother and I went to paused on a variety of special commemorative days to celebrate the rich diversity of all of our cultures and ethnicities. These early experiences and lessons from school have left an indelible imprint on my life, and what I recognize today is that these non-negotiable family values are distinctly connected to the work and service of many historical figures in black history whom we celebrate.