So I've gotten into the job now and man, is it a blessing. I've learned so much about myself from the children I meet with. They've become family to me, and their parents are almost friends now. It's actually my job to hang out with children and I'm paid very well for it. I really want to pinch myself.
There's actually a preteen girl that I've particularly taken to. I didn't really know what to expect from her and her family, but I see now that they're very loving and concerned for her well-being. For obvious professional reasons, I can't get into too much detail on her, but for this post, I'll simply call her Rose. Anyway, one day I decided to drive Rose around Atlanta to show her some of the nicer parts of the city, to encourage her to do better in school. She told me that she wants to be a lawyer. Come hell or high water, it's my goal to help her get on the right track to become not only a lawyer but a damned good lawyer.
On the way there, we got to talking about the benefits of home ownership, and Rose looked at me and said that she didn't want to buy a house. I tried in vain to explain to her that home ownership is a wonderful thing, versus renting and not getting a dime in equity in a house. She remained undeterred.
I took her to the Cascade area of Atlanta and showed her how wonderful the homes are there. I reminded her that those big beautiful homes with the manicured lawns and the expensive cars in front of them were owned by Blacks. And not only were they owned by Blacks, but those Blacks were doctors, lawyers, business owners, reporters, and all different professions. I felt it was important to let her know that to remind her that for young Blacks, there are more ways to make money than slinging dope, rapping, or playing basketball.
After our tour of homes, I took her to Starbucks, where we happened to run into Rico Brooks of Block Entertainment. I know Rico because he used to be the district manager of the music store I used to work at. Rico has worked closely with Yung Joc, Gorilla Zoe and a few other up and coming artists. I told Rose who he was and what his job was and who she worked with, and her mouth hung open. Rose and I discussed my time working at Pizza Hut and what it was like to have people judge you based on how much you make. I told her that, to let her know that with proper education, she won't be stuck working jobs like that. After a while, our time was up, and I began to drive Rose home.
On the way back to her home, Rose looked at me and said that she'd like to buy a house. I didn't bother to ask her where the change of heart came from. But internally, I melted. I love my job. And Rose.