My cousin, Joy, on my father's side, has one daughter and identical-twin sons. One of these sons, Kevin, headed to New York City when he finished college. You might think to find fame as an actor on broadway or fortune working on Wall Street, but he endeavors at something significantly more important.
Here's Kevin with my Mom in October of 2007.
Kevin first worked at a long-term intensive residential drug and alcohol rehab facility for prison-involved men. Now he serves as Assistant Director of Palladia Inc.'s. Dreitzer Women's and Children's Program (http://www.palladiainc.org/). Kevin emailed his family and friends explaining that the facility is a 26 bed long term intensive residential drug and alcohol rehab for single women. These women have been in prison, homeless, and have chronic substance abuse and psychiatric issues. They move into the facility with their very young children ages 0-4. He added that Dreitzer is an exceptionally pioneering and innovative program that offers women the rare opportunity to receive intensive treatment while also living with and caring for their children. Sadly, there continues to only be a handful of such programs in the country despite the growing need for them.
What a remarkable young man!
At the end of his emails, Kevin includes the following quote that truly embodies the person he is and offers inspiration.
-- "To laugh often and much, to win the respect of the intelligent and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, to redeem a social condition, to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
Ralph Waldo Emerson