Welcome ! Education Pays – Get Yours is a pilot social marketing campaign targeting youth in the Mt. Pleasant, Slavic Village and Central neighborhoods of Cleveland, Ohio. The campaign started in December 2008 and is moving into its' final phase. You may have seen Education Pays-Get Yours billboards, bus signs, radio and tv ads, posters distributed by our street teams, etc. As part of the final push at promoting the importance of education we have established web blogs for each neighborhood. These social networking tools will give residents an opportunity to discuss the campaign and the importance of getting an education.

Mark C. Batson
Executive Director
PolicyBridge, Inc.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bite-sized Blog Book--State Lawmaker: Rep. Lloyd Daniel (Part 2)

School was out and the YMCA was offering a free sports program at the high school in my neighbor, it included track. I’d never been on a high school track. It was a quarter mile track and seemed huge.
It appeared endless. I was always the youngest and tallest kid in my class in elementary school, but the Central High track made me feel tiny and out of place. The program was for kids 13 years old and under. Most of the participants were 12 and 13. And a few who lied about their age were 14 and 15. To me, at 7, they were all “big kids”.

To find out who could run and who couldn’t, the coach had us run what was, back then, called the 440, because it was 440 yards. That race is now referred to as the 400, because of the use of the metric system. We were to run once around the track. I was surprised by the starter’s gun and got off to a bad start. For the first half of the race I was at the very back of the pack, dead last, behind the rest of the fifty or so runners. But because I had been running daily for about a month, as ciders flew in my face, I began to pull up closed and closer to the middle of the stampede. By three quarters of the way around the track I was in about ninth place. As we turned the corner and entered the home stretch, the lead runners grew weary and began to fade. But because I had been unknowingly training for just such an occasion,
I began to accelerate. I wasn’t tired at all. I knew I was going to win as long as I didn’t fall as I had done so many times when I was sick. As I blew past the runner in 5th place, then 4th place, then 3rd, then 2nd place, and then the lead runner, from out of nowhere I heard my father’s voice. He was yelling at the top of his lunges, “Go boy! Go boy!” I didn’t know he was in the stands. I then realized that he had taken off work to watch me compete.
I looked up in the bleachers and saw him furiously clapping his hands and crying. Then I started to cry and felt myself switch into another gear, running faster, I felt, than I’d ever run before. I crossed the white lime finish line nearly 20 yards ahead of the pack, knowing that I, for sure, was blessed, had recovered, that there were those who loved me, that I could see my future shinning bright ahead me and that no matter what had happened before that day or what would happen in days to come, no weapon formed against me would prosper.

Come back next Friday to hear about Rep. Lloyd Daniel

Rep. Lloyd Daniel is a writer, advocate, college professor and former member of Missouri’s House of Representatives. He lives in Kansas City. His website address is

No comments: