The following note made it to my desk recently, from a young man (who will remain unidentified) from the recent Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend I spoke at earlier this year. It speaks for itself.
"Hi Mr. Bryant,
I really Appreciate you getting back to me. Growing up into being a young black man is tough and my past habits are not helping me move forward to be honest. I'm not a stupid kid but my grades don't show it, I've made some very uneducated decisions that got me in trouble, and getting out of this hole that I am in now is stressful. I contacted you awhile ago because while out in Texas your words gave me a sort of rejoice and motivation in my life, which was something I've never really had. For a few weeks straight I was breaking down almost everyday, and I remembered the feeling I had during your speech, and said to myself I don't want to hit rock bottom. And having you to be someone to look up to at this point in my life is something that I need. So again I'm really glad that you could take some time out of your schedule to even respond it means a lot. Thank You."
If you ever doubt that giving your time and talents to young people, serving as a volunteer role model or mentor, is making any difference at all, come back and read this note one more time. All 100 of these young men sat there emotionless as I spoke, yet I gave them everything I had. Looks like they were giving me everything they had, too.
One person can make a difference. Be that one person. Give one hour a month, 12 months a year to make a difference in someone's life. Become a HOPE Corps volunteer today at www.operationhope.org.
John Hope Bryant is a thought leader, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and Member of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for President Barack Obama.