A young man struggling to survive on the rough, tough streets of Los Angeles has high hopes for a better life at Harvard University, according to CNN. It’s a story straight out of Hollywood, of someone fighting impossible odds, of drugs and violence and pain all around him, yet not only being able to succeed without a stable environment, but to dare to dream of attending the most prestigious university in the world.
Dare, young Kenneth Chancey might say, is not the right word. Maybe perseverance or determination would be better. We have seen stories like this in the San Francisco Bay Area but we would like to see a lot more who dare to dream like Mr. Chancey.
Kenneth Chancey was recently voted overall student at his high school, is the student body president and is on the football team. If keeping his grades up and thinking about college wasn’t enough, he has to find a way to keep things together every night at a shelter for the homeless on Skid Row.
Kenneth Chancey, The Underdog
People love underdogs and Kenneth Chancey’s story is one of someone facing mighty steep odds, to be overwhelmed by daily dramas that would suffocate most people, but to maintain a powerful, potent vision for himself is inspiring for all of us.
Kenneth Chancey, as his name implies, deserves a chance to attend Harvard University and Harvard’s admission officials better remember his name because students like him don’t come around that often. Imagine the shelter life for a while and imagine the intestinal fortitude it takes to go to high school and be a leader in the classroom and on the football field.
San Francisco Bay Area Homeless Assistance
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and are homeless or in need of assistance like Kenneth Chancey, please know that there are organizations that can help you.
Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco offers shelters and hot meals for the homeless. They can be reached at their website or by telephone at (415) 487-3300.
Another organization, Raphael House, offers services for services for children and families who are homeless. They can be reached at their website or by telephone at (415) 474-4621. Also, the Glide organization offers free meals and services for the homeless.
Stay strong and seek out these organizations. You too can steady yourself and achieve your dreams like Kenneth Chancey.
Football and Life
Run, Kenneth Chancey, run past your gridiron opponents, run past those dope-sellers on Skid Row, run all the way to Harvard. He is not running out of fear, no. He is running straight to a better place. We’re here for you if you need us but it doesn’t look like you do.
In this Great Recession, we need more people like Kenneth Chancey who believe that the long odds and negative forces around us will not take us down. Let life try to tackle us and watch us put up a stiff-arm and run all the way for a touchdown. Come on, life, you threw all you could at Kenneth Chancey and he’s still standing. So can we.
“Student hopes to go from homeless to Harvard,” Thelma Gutierrez, CNN.com/living, June 25, 2009.
Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco, website
Glide organization, website