Trent Tucker: Paving the Way to Education:
Growing up in Flint, Mich., I witnessed many of my friends and peers go down destructive paths due to the lack of influence and support in their lives. This was something that stayed with me throughout all my successes. I knew that if I was ever in a position to be a positive role model in the life of even just one at-risk child, I was going to do so wholeheartedly and make a difference. Hence, in 1998, I formed my own nonprofit organization, which is now known as theAll 4 Kids Foundation. The foundation is committed to empowering underprivileged and at-risk youth by developing the skills they need to make positive choices in social and academic environments using a curriculum that expands their horizons and encourages them to participate in new areas of learning.
When I speak of at-risk youth, I am referring to youth who are likely to either drop out of school and or fall into a life of crime and destructive behaviors. The list of factors that can put a child "at-risk" is astounding and has to do with more than just the child's attitude toward school in general. It starts at home and then branches out into the community before it even gets to the school environment. These children may come from low-income families, have a dysfunctional home life, or have little to no parental involvement at all. Unfortunately, there aren't many or any role models these children can look up to for positive reinforcement. I saw this many times growing up, but I was fortunate to have parents and older brothers who loved me and wanted to help me to succeed.