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Make the world a better place for you and your family

Posted by Elena del Valle on February 2, 2011

By Laura Scheiber
Co-author Unequal Fortunes

Laura Scheiber, co-author, Unequal Fortunes

Arthur Levine and I recently wrote a book called Unequal Fortunes: Snapshots from the South Bronx (see Fellowship foundation leader, assistant examine challenges faced by South Bronx youth). It focuses on three Latino teenagers coming of age in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the nation. For ten years Carlos, Leo, and Juan Carlos shared their worlds with us. It was a scary place where kids went to more funerals than graduation parties. Drug dealers were on every corner and gangs ruled the streets. Kids were forced to go to local schools with inadequate resources, under-qualified teachers, and a high staff turnover rate. The outcome was not surprising: half of the children in the neighborhood would never graduate from high school. By 16 years old, Carlos, Leo and Juan Carlos could count on one hand the number of friends who graduated from high school. Their other friends were either working minimum-wage jobs, unemployed, in jail, or dead.

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