Backtalk with Judge Glenda Hatchett

15 again because I would make different choices, but I chose to prostitute and now I have to live forever with this choice.” This young girl went on to be an honor student, to participate in after-school programs, and she decided to abstain from sex until she was really ready to take on that responsibility. It radically changed her life. Now I could’ve sat there all day saying to her, “Girl, you’d better not do this, that, and the other.” But it took spending the night on the streets for her to get it. That’s what this is about: What can I do to get them to get it?

What can we do? A lot of people think, “I can’t impact someone’s life.”
But you can. What we really need are people to do hands-on mentoring. There is an extremely long waiting list at the Big Brothers/Big Sisters, particularly for African American children. In Atlanta alone, we have 1,000 boys right now–today–who are waiting to be paired with a mentor. So think about what it must be like across the country. We need people! And for people who can’t mentor, pull out your checkbook and sign someone up for Little League, pay for piano lessons, send kids to camp. We’ve got to think not just about the children in our home, but how we can impact people that we know.

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