The young mother set her foot on the path of life. "Is this the long way?" she asked. And the guide said: "Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning."
But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them and the young Mother cried, "Nothing will ever be lovelier than this."
Then the night came, and the storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle, and the children said, "Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come."
And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary. But at all times she said to the children," A little patience and we are there." So the children climbed, and when they reached the top they said, "Mother, we would not have done it without you."
And the mother, when she lay down at nightlooked up at the stars and said, "This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage.
Today, I 've given them strength."
And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said: "Look up. Lift your eyes to the light. "And the children looked and saw above the clouds an everlasting glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness. And that night the Mother said, "This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God."
And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the mother grew old and she was little and bent. But her children were tall and strong, and walked with courage. And when the way was rough, they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And mother said, "I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them."
And the children said, "You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates." And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said: "We cannot see her but she is with us still. A Mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence......."
Your Mother is always with you.... She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street; she's the smell of bleach in your freshly laundered socks; she's the cool hand on your brow when you're not well. Your Mother lives inside your laughter. And she's crystallized in every tear drop. She's the place you came from, your first home; and she's the map you follow with every step you take. She's your first love and your first heartbreak, and nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not space... not even death!
Today the president has a 29% approval rating and retired Generals are the ones criticizing the Bush administration, I guess we can say just the opposite: "The Military's 'attacks' come at a price for Bush politics!"
Iran States Intention to Continue Atomic Work: "Iran said on Sunday it would reject any demand to stop what it calls peaceful nuclear work, a day before Europe's foreign ministers discuss incentives and penalties designed to rein in Tehran's atomic ambitions." [Reuters]
Eyes Wide Shut: Laura Bush Doesn't Believe Bad Polls [Reuters]Mrs. Bush says that she doesn't think people are losing confidence in her husband, despite a series of polls showing proof of the contrary: the lowest satisfactory ratings for any president in the past 50 years!
SNL - If Al Gore Were President: The video is at Croooks and Liars.
Tennessee Guerilla Women Talk about Karl Rove - More on his alleged indictment.
Cheney in the Middle: According to Josh Marshall, Isikoff has some damning facts pointing to Cheney's role in criminal case regarding the outing of CIA Valerie Plame. (Note: Read the latest Molly Ivins to see why Josh is one of her favorite bloggers).
Every nine seconds in America a student becomes a drop-out. Nationally, only about two-thirds of all students who enter 9th grade graduate with regular high school diplomas four years later. For minority males, these figures are far lower. Of those who fail to graduate with their peers, one-quarter eventually earn a diploma, one-quarter earn the GED, and about one-half do not earn any high school credential. It is not only those drop-outs who face multiple negative consequences for the rest of their lives, it is also damaging to American society at large. For example, one study by the American Youth Policy Forum showed that America would have saved $41.8 billion in health care costs if the 600,000 young people who dropped out in 2004 were to have completed just one additional year of education.
At a recent gathering of visitors to the Job Corps office in Syracuse, Julius Lawrence looked each young man and woman directly in the eye and told them that he refused to go to his grave not believing he'd done everything he could possibly do to help them find the opportunities that were available to him nearly forty years ago. He is a committed American citizen, steadfast in his support of young people’s success in his community. He is a link between the dropout segment of our society and the opportunity they may have never known about had it not been for his service.
His presentation was part of an Open House at the Job Corps center at 224 Harrison Street in Syracuse. Job Corps is America's leading residential job training and education program for youth ages 16-24. Julius Lawrence was a graduate of one of the first Job Corps programs. Funded by the United States Congress, Job Corps has been training young adults for meaningful careers since Julius took advantage of the opportunity in the mid-1960s. He was trying to choose the best life path for himself while the Viet Nam war was raging overseas and having been issued a 4F by the Military. When he learned about Job Corps, he was soon on an airplane - the first minority Job Corps student from Syracuse - bound for Urban Corps in California, which was founded in 1966 and funded with federal work-study dollars. He went on from Urban Corps training to leadership and electronics studies in Berkeley, California and at a school in Texas. His own Job Corps training has inspired him to show leadership in reaching out to disconnected youth in the greater Syracuse community.
Louise Ross of the Buffalo Job Corps Center speaks to prospective Job Corps participants
Job Corps is a no-cost education and vocational training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 through 24 get a better job, make more money, and take control of their lives. Their available cirricula is real-world and career-oriented. Students learn a trade, earn a high school diploma or GED, and receive help finding a good job. They are paid a monthly allowance and the longer they stick with the program the more their allowance increases. Career counseling and transition support to students for up to 12 months after they graduate from the program is available.
Baye Muhammed, who worked as a resident assistant for the Potomac Job Corps Center in Washington DC, is now an admissions counselor working in the Syracuse outreach and admissions office along with fellow admissions counselor Tamika Otis.
Julius Lawrence is an example of the fruits that opportunity can provide to a community like Syracuse. He is involved with YEP (Youth Employment Partnership), which serves low-income, at-risk youth, 90% of whom have completed the training programs in which they were enrolled while more than 80% have either found employment or pursued further. education. Currently the President of the Southwest Community Center in Syracuse, he also participates in the Jubilee Homes project, the Appleseed Trust program, the Syracuse Community Development Advisory Committee [SUN], CDBG (community block grants), and Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today (TNT), Project Connection.
Job Corps is committed to offering all students a safe, drug-free environment where they can take advantage of the resources provided. A downloadable pdf file of the Job Corps Rules and Requirements Handbook is available.
The phone number for inquiries about Job Corps in Syracuse is (315) 478-5529.