What do you do when life takes a turn?

Lessons from American Idol

I’m struggling a bit as I write this, a day after my nephew Manny Torres got cut from American Idol.  He made the top 14 finalists, but failed to make the cut to the top 10.   His exciting rise to the bright lights and his stunningly curt dismissal offer valuable lessons for our mission.
When my wife and I took our kids to Manny’s church in Flint, where his father was the pastor, we were amazed to see the many roles he played as a child, moving from the drums to being lead singer to jumping on the keyboards and singing backup—all during one worship session.  He was electric—and he had a home that valued his talent and challenged him to excel.   Our members have the same opportunity here at our Notes for Notes studio, or in the gym, or dance studio, or arts room—all places to excel and be challenged to become great.
When Manny graduated from high school, he left home for Chicago to work on his craft.  He played any gig he could find, singing in bars and coffeehouses, sometimes over the din of people talking and ignoring him completely.  Still he played on.  Here, we ask our members to do the same—to set goals and achieve them, even when it seems like no one else is paying attention.
And here’s the last thing.  Just when it looks like everything is going great, life can take a heart-wrenching turn.  It helps to have people in your corner–praying for you, cheering for you, and pushing you sometimes too–to remember that a turn is just a twist in the journey, not the end of it.  Manny’s got people in his life to do that for him, and that is what we are here to do for the young people of SAY Detroit.
Money Management Expert Coming Wednesday
Say Detroit and the Accounting Aid Society are teaming up to bring Rodney Benefield to the center this Wednesday, March 2 from 6:00 to 7:15 to talk with parents, volunteers and friends of SAY Detroit on such topics as How to Raise Money Smart Children and How to Track Your Cash Flow.
Financial coaches will be on hand after the event to offer one-on-one advice.Light refreshments will be provided.  We look forward to seeing you there.
Matthew Stafford Creates Football Art For Our Kids
Matthew Stafford and Repreve (a company that recycles water bottles into clothes) are selling art created by Matthew with some footballs and a recycled canvas to benefit the children of the SAY Detroit Play Center.   You can purchase a Stafford original by clicking here.
In a recent podcast of Football Today on ESPN, Stafford talks about his art and why he and his wife, Kelly, spend time at the center.  At the 11:55 minute mark of the broadcast, Stafford says:
Kelly and I walk around Detroit and people say thank you all the time for doing what you guys have done in creating the center.  But we should be thanking these kids.  We drive through one of the toughest neighborhoods in Detroit, if not in the country, to get to this place, and then you see where these kids come from, and you meet them in the facility and see just how amazing they are. They are awesome kids.  All they need is some help, and some bright light, and that’s what they’ve been in Kelly’s and my life, no question.
Posted in Change the Game.

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