Julia Lawlor, “Millionaire Turns Mentor for Kids: Eugene Lang; ”You Must Have a Dream”,”

Category : Education

Three years later, the girl’s dream has been restored: now 19 years old, she’s still in high school, about to get her diploma. And Eugene Lang’s “I Have a Dream” Foundation – born one summer day six years ago when he stood before a group of youngsters graduating from his alma mater, P.S. 121 – has blossomed into a national movement helping 4,000 underprivileged students in 14 cities stay in school. By next year, Lang expects sponsors like himself to reach 8,000 children in 25 cities across the USA – from Los Angeles to Cleveland, Dallas to Atlanta. Lang’s children have made it into such prestigious colleges as Barnard, Swarthmore and Bard. Though Lang is white and the students are Hispanic and black, there is common ground: The son of a machinist and a schoolteacher in East Harlem, Lang grew up poor in a tough neighborhood. When he was 8, he got his first switchblade; his best friend from childhood – a convicted murderer in later life – died in the electric chair.

Source: USA Today (24 Dec 1987): 1

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