Is It Ever Too Late for Education…and Hope?


The Neighborhood Academy doesn’t think so, and neither do I.


I’m sure we’ve all heard the statistic that our character and personality are formed by the time we enter first grade; and what happens during those formative years pretty much define the types of people we become as adults.


But if you spend time with the students and faculty at the Neighborhood Academy in Pittsburgh, you’ll realize that it’s never too late to change – or hope.


That’s what I learned when I completed an Advancement video for the school last year. I fell in love with the vision and passion of the faculty and students, and I was especially struck by the values and dedication of the kids. It takes a tremendous amount of strength and fortitude to make the decision that you’re going to change.

When you hear a young teen say things like, “If it weren’t for Neighborhood Academy, I’d probably be dead. I would have killed myself,” it gets your attention. This school has captured and inspired me. I realized that it’s giving these kids much more than an education – they’re giving them hope. And they’re turning lives around.

Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

I not only believe this, but I’ve seen it first-hand at Neighborhood Academy. And I’ve managed to learn something, too – that over time, and given the right direction and education, kids will rise to the occasion. I’m honored they entrusted me to help tell their story.

Watch the video and see if you come away with the same awareness I did: That education is the only way to turnaround a life that’s been derailed. Share your thoughts or own personal experiences about the impact on education in the comment section below.