Tonight, I attended the red carpet premier of “Young Lives on the Edge,” a documentary shadowing the lives of four Charlotte area youth struggling with the consequences of substance abuse and violence. Produced in conjunction with the Urban League of the Central Carolinas, the film shines a no holds barred spotlight on how drugs and random violence set young people up for failure.
According to Patrick Graham, Ph.D, the President and CEO of the Urban League of the Central Carolinas (pictured with me here), the film documents the young people as they participate in an Urban League program designed to empower them to make better choices.
The film featured:
- a formerly drug addicted 21-year old married father of two who is now considering a career in medicine
- a 21-year old former exotic dancer and high school dropout who is now preparing for a career in law enforcement
- a 21-year-old who lost a basketball scholarship to drugs, alcohol and gangs, and who is now working to build non-profit recreation centers in his hometown
- a 19-year old single mother who was all but abandoned as a young teen, and dreams of opening her own law practice someday.
These successes are living testimonies to the Urban League's fulfillment of its mission to promote self-sufficiency in the African American community.
You can watch the documentary trailer at this link.
After the screening, the “stars” of the documentary appeared on a panel to answer questions about their experiences. Later, the adults in the audience were asked to stand and pledge to set a more positive example for young people from all walks of life.
The “Youth Empowerment Pledge”
- We pledge to volunteer to mentor a young person.
- We pledge to give back to our communities for our children's sake.
- We will serve as living examples that all things are possible, for ourselves, our children and our communities.
Question: What do you think of the pledge? What is your responsibility to make a difference?