Mark Hayward's City Matters: Doing the work, making a difference
There were drive-by shootings. Some of his friends were in gangs. Many lacked confidence in school.
Despite his hardscrabble early years, the 24-year-old may be the best opportunity to get a struggling child at Gossler Park School on the right track.
Clad in red shirts, they are at school before the school bell rings and they remain to run after-school programs once the teachers leave. Ten hour days are common for them.
"They want to test you out, make sure you are what you say you are," he said.
"Any positive influence they have in our building is OK with me," Dubois said. She said City Year volunteers work on attendance, student behavior, course work and parental involvement — duties that aren't the responsibility of paraprofessionals.
Gatsas said they'll succeeded if they turn around the life of one child.
"Nothing can be as important to a child as knowing somebody believes in them," he said.
Merritt said a year of City Year prepared him for the working world. He shakes hands. He makes eye contact with others. He is confident in his speech.
Mark Hayward's City Matters appears Thursdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader and UnionLeader.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
READER COMMENTS: 4
- Pinkerton: 'No surprises' on first day with additional Hooksett students - 1
- Manchester Youth Leadership Academy will start Sept. 23 - 0
- New school year kicks off in style in Wilton/Lyndeborough - 0
- PSU recognizes 3 professors for their scholarship, service - 0
- Unity Elementary School off to late start - 0
- La. Gov. Jindal files federal lawsuit over Common Core - 0
- Central High parents reminded to use caution when dropping kids off - 0
- New Manchester school district standards to give teachers more leeway - 4
- Construction to begin on Hollis playground - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Goffstown's Bourque impresses; Memorial, Bishop Guertin, Pinkerton win in Queen City Jamboree - 0
- Hanover boys soccer edges defense-minded BG - 0
- NH Fisher Cats, Pierre stun Rock Cats in 4-3 win - 0
- Helping hands for new St. Anselm students in Manchester on move in day - 0
- To market, to market: Market Basket shoppers flock on in - 0
- Nashua Market Basket employee: 'Worth every day of work lost' - 0
- NH teen killers to get sentence reviews after state Supreme Court decision - 0
- Manchester raid came 8 months after home invasion - 0
- NH killer in 1991 Smart trial seeks time with wife - 0
Where is Shaheen? Hiding from you
Goffstown's Bourque impresses; Memorial, Bishop Guertin, Pinkerton win in Queen City Jamboree
Enter to win tickets to see Paula Poundstone
Hooksett highs: A good multiple choice test