September 25th, 2016

Where would you be if your son were on prime-time TV?

If your son were playing college football in a huge rivalry in his first nationally-televised, prime-time football game, where would you be? I have the privilege of working with a guy who wasn’t at the game or even camped out in front of his flat-screen TV.  He was at the SAY Detroit Play Center last Continue Reading

August 31st, 2016

Looking for help restoring hope

This past July 21, Pastor Joel Osteen co-hosted a concert on Stafford Field with Sway Calloway two days before hosting America’s Night of Hope at Comerica Park.  He helped galvanize an amazing summer for the young people of Detroit at our center. More than 30 teenagers worked as sports camp counselors or mowed the lawns of vacant homes Continue Reading

July 9th, 2016

Joel & Victoria Osteen and Sway Calloway To Host Free Concert

The death of innocents weighs heavy on our nation’s heart.  All of them: babies like A’Naiya’ and Miracle here in Detroit.  Men like Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Minneapolis.  The five police officers in Dallas.  Every morning I wake up and read the newspapers, and it’s like watching a horrible movie Continue Reading

May 22nd, 2016

Mrs. Falls Serves Up Hope with Meals

Hope is a funny thing.  Like a small beach ball hidden in our belly, hope continually pushes us up and out into the world each day, buoying us with an abiding belief that things will get better. But when things don’t get better, when every day seems to be worse than the one before, or Continue Reading

May 9th, 2016

A Tribute to Mothers

My mom grew up on a farm in Southfield as the only girl with six brothers. To this day, she contends she was the best athlete of them all.  In addition to raising four children, she was a teacher at Hutchinson Elementary School in Detroit for ten years before going back to school to become a Continue Reading

May 2nd, 2016

It’s Time to Start Changing the Game

Last week, U.S. News and World Report released its list of the best high schools in America.  A quick glance at their list reveals that the best schools are also home to the highest concentrations of kids coming from affluent homes where parents, like me, spend thousands of hours from the time our children are in Continue Reading

March 22nd, 2016

We need help changing the game for kids

A year ago last fall, I was talking with some civic leaders in Flint about helping them with issues in their schools.  In two different meetings, the issue of water came up.  The cost of water from Detroit was too expensive, and they were in a quagmire trying to get out of a system they Continue Reading

March 15th, 2016

Rising from Homelessness to School Mom

One of our requirements for our high school students hoping to land a job with Grow Detroit’s Young Talent this summer is that they must smile when they walk through the door.  We want them to learn that the way they enter a room can have a big impact on their success inside of it.  Continue Reading

February 27th, 2016

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. Continue Reading

February 19th, 2016

What in the world is a “second birthday?”

Derrick Hayes Celebrating a Second Birthday We started our team meeting at SAY Detroit last week with good news updates from the week.  It’s a good way to remember and celebrate together the good things that are happening at the center or in our team’s personal lives. Derrick Hayes was the first to speak.  “Today is Continue Reading