There was an amazing column by the New York Time's Maureen Dowd yesterday about Washington D.C.'s extremely popular and effective police Chief Cathy Lanier. I had no idea about her background. From the piece:
"Skipping school at 13. Pregnant at 14. Married at 15. Separated at 17, on food stamps and back with her mother on a working-class block by a railroad in suburban Maryland; her mother had also relied on welfare and donated food to feed Cathy and her brothers after her husband split when Lanier was a toddler."
Ms. Dowd reveals that before Ms. Lanier joined the police force under a program that allowed her to obtain her college degree while working she had spent time employed as a waitress at night and as a secretary during the daytime. To make ends meet she also sold awnings and hair care products. Ms. Lanier went on to earn two Masters Degrees.
The column goes on to talk about how much people like and respect her. I spent some time with Ms. Lanier and I can attest to this observation. During the short period I was with her it seemed like everyone we passed, rich or poor, black or white, called her by name to make sure they said hello. The broad smiles on their faces revealed their admiration for this woman.
It makes you think that if she can overcome these obstacles then anyone can succeed at life.
Today marks a major milestone for approximately 640 public school students in the nation's capital. This morning they will attend class in the brand new Second Street Northwest location of the Washington Latin Public Charter School. For the first time scholars from every part of town who used to be taught in three locations on 16th Street N.W. will be brought together in a $20 million dollar first-class, sun-filled, state-of-the-art campus in the renovated former DCPS Rudolph Elementary.
On a less positive note the editors of the Washington Post yesterday addressed the U.S. Justice Department's effort to shutdown the Louisiana's private school voucher program. This is just more of the shenanigans that the Obama Administration has been pulling here in Washington D.C. Unfortunately, while the President says he is out to help underprivileged children in reality he is not. The editors state it best when they comment,
"Nine of 10 Louisiana children who receive vouchers to attend private schools are black. All are poor and, if not for the state assistance, would be consigned to low-performing or failing schools with little chance of learning the skills they will need to succeed as adults. So it’s bewildering, if not downright perverse, for the Obama administration to use the banner of civil rights to bring a misguided suit that would block these disadvantaged students from getting the better educational opportunities they are due."
But this too will pass. When you see what is possible in this world such as the shinning example set by Police Chief Lanier and the greatness that can be created in the new Washington Latin PCS you just know that what is right and excellent always succeeds.