04/24/08 — A difference: Volunteer of the Year and his fellow soldiers changed lives

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A difference: Volunteer of the Year and his fellow soldiers changed lives

You have heard the phrase that one person can make a difference in our children’s future, right?

Well, meet one man.

Capt. Gregory McCray isn’t taking full credit for his award as the Volunteer of the Year in Wayne County Public Schools. He wants the men who worked alongside him honored, too.

McCray started a mentoring program at North Drive Elementary to help students there who needed guidance, support and someone to believe in them.

Now, with the help of some other Army volunteers, the program has become a bright spot in these children’s lives — and has shown them just what they can be when they grow up. Their teachers say they look forward to the visits — and that the volunteers’ support and advice have given them respect and hope.

And that is how you change lives.

McCray did not seek out publicity — and he says his work is just a small effort. But to these children, his time and attention — and those of his fellow volunteers — have meant the world.

As we talk about ways to improve our schools and to reduce the number of dropouts, we should remember Capt. Gregory McCray’s contribution.

If more of us tried to be like him and reached out a hand to a child who has no one else, who knows what kind of difference we could make.

We could change futures — one child at a time.

McCray and his fellow volunteers have shown us the way.

Published in Editorials on April 24, 2008 11:03 AM