A Day With No More Victims:
A Message From COCI Board Member, Sydney Scott
Do you remember the speech Coach Jim Valvano gave at the ESPY Awards? Click here for a sample.
He said, “To me there are three things everyone should do every day. Number one is laugh. Number two is think — spend some time time in thought. Number three, you should have your emotions move you to tears. If you laugh, think and cry, that’s a heck of a day.”
As a former college and professional basketball player, I have always liked that quote.
Our signature program, No More Victims, offers a lot of opportunities do all three. The program supports the emotional and physical needs of the children of incarcerated parents. We had one of those “Valvano days” at the beginning of the summer when we held a high school graduation party for our seniors. Every one of our seniors graduated. Seeing the pride and joy in their faces was so incredibly moving.
These kids grow up under the constant threat of violence, abuse, poverty, and the potential to wind up in prison themselves. At times, simply surviving is an achievement. Yet, through No More Victims, our students consistently beat the odds, graduate, and live fulfilling lives.
We’ll have more days to laugh, cry, and think as the school year starts. No More Victims students will be back among friends, but they are never far from the dangers that are a part of everyday life when you are a child of an incarcerated parents. Compared to other children, children of incarcerated parents are:
- 1/2 as likely to graduate from high school;
- 2 times as likely to exhibit criminal behavior; and
- Much more likely to have unmet health and behavior problems.
Another Coach Valvano quote comes to mind: “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person. He believed in me.”
Many of our students haven’t had that person who believed in them until they joined No More Victims and that is one of the keys to their success, and therefore, our success. Your contributions make it possible for us to change lives!
Here are the ways you can donate:
Call us at (713) 836-9147.
Mail a check to Cherish Our Children International, P.O. Box 79457, Houston 77279-9457.
Sydney Scott is a member of the COCI board and an attorney with Smyser, Kaplan & Veselka, L.L.P., where she practices complex commercial litigation and white collar criminal defense.