Thank Goodness It’s Feed Your Good Dog Friday (TGIFYGDF)! And, thank goodness for organizations such as L.E.A.D. Through L.E.A.D., young black males from Atlanta’s inner city, have an opportunity, when they may not otherwise, to earn an education and commit to improving themselves and their communities.
To date, 100% of the young men who complete L.E.A.D.’s program graduate from high school, 95% enroll in college and 92% receive scholarship money to help pay for college. Austin Evans is a L.E.A.D. Ambassador and an aspiring United States Senator. He is graduating from L.E.A.D.’s program this year and from Atlanta Public Schools’ New Schools at Carver. He is a POSSE Foundation Scholarship recipient and will be taking his talents to Texas A&M in the Fall. He is also a finalist for the Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Foundation Scholarship.
Austin recently met with Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal. He actually told Governor Deal that he wanted to become a U.S. Senator. Thank you Kelli Stewart for capturing that surreal moment.
Following is a conversation, young Evans had with his mentor and L.E.A.D.’s co-founder CJ Stewart after his meeting.
CJ: Is the Governor approachable?
A. Evans: The governor is a very approachable man and I felt very comfortable in his presence.
CJ: Describe the personality of the Governor?
A. Evans: His personality was professional and as the conversation continued he showed me a more welcoming side of him. He’s a very nice man.
CJ: Describe his hand shake?
A. Evans: He gave a respectable firm handshake while looking me in the eyes.
CJ: Can the Governor connect with teenage black males? Describe.
A. Evans: The governor can connect with black males if he reaches out to them in way that makes them comfortable. Black males feel as though the government doesn’t exist to help them. That barrier must be removed before we can truly connect.
CJ: What surprised you the most about the Governor?
A. Evans: The most surprising thing was that he remembered my grandfather extremely well and had the utmost respect for him. My grandfather shined Governor Deal’s shoes in Gainesville long before he became the Governor of Georgia.
CJ: If you had the power, influence and the leadership of the Governor, what three problems would you solve first in Georgia?
A. Evans: First I would change the disparities in the educational system. Second, I would close the tremendous wealth gap. Third, I would promote more unity and competition because through competition greatness happens.
CJ: What will you be doing in the year 2040?
A. Evans: In 2040, I plan on being a U.S. Senator representing and empowering Georgia.
And, remember . . . Feed Your Good Dog so your good dog always wins!