This week, I witnessed two extremes – of hate and love.
One of our stellar Higher Achievement alumni, William, attends Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the first in his family to go to college. After a financial aid hiccup, he was left with a balance that his family could not cover, so he posted signs throughout to DC to raise the necessary funds. I wish he had never had to be in that position, but I was proud of his drive and entrepreneurship.
However, one passerby was not so proud. In a park in my neighborhood, a disgusting racial slur now covers William’s poster, defacing his graduation photo.
This act of hate could have deflated William’s ambitions. But, instead it turned into an act of great love.
Within seven hours of my Saturday morning Facebook post, his crowdfunding campaign went viral. More than 117 people gave over $6000, which surpassed his goal.
Thanks to the generosity of dozens of strangers, a bright, hard-working young man is back on the path to college. I am confident that William will make us proud, and will help to build a brighter path for our collective future.
I am deeply grateful for this collective. We prove the power of love and hard work to triumph over hate and injustice. We proved it to William. And we will prove it over and over again.
Lynsey Wood Jeffries