By Marian Write Edleman, Opinions, The Washington Post

 

Edwin Desamour was driving with his 3-year-old son in their Philadelphia neighborhood recently when the little boy looked up and said, “Daddy, look at the moon! I want to go there!” So this father did what many parents would: He bought his son books on science and space voyages and encouraged him to believe that his dreams can come true.

Edwin’s son has been blessed with a vastly different childhood than Edwin had. Edwin grew up poor in a violent neighborhood in Philadelphia, surrounded by drugs, guns and crime. At age 16 he was convicted of a homicide. The time he spent with his father as a teenager came when they were assigned to the same cellblock in prison.

Edwin was caught up in dangerous surroundings he didn’t choose, and his violent actions as an adolescent resulted in terrible loss. But he matured in prison and became determined to earn parole so he could return to his old neighborhood and make a difference in the lives of other young men. In 2007 Edwin founded Men in Motion in the Community, an organization that provides positive role models for at-risk youths. It teaches them that there are consequences to their actions, and it helps youths avoid violence.

 

Read Marian’s opinion piece here.