WASHINGTON – Dec. 29, 2016 — The LEAP Foundation DC Annual Toy Drive spread more than just seasonal cheer to families and children in need this year. It shared a deeper message of encouragement and inspiration, as guests in attendance at LEAP’s annual Christmas party offered words of wisdom to two of LEAP Foundation DC’s youngest mentees and scholarship recipients.
Dr. Clayton Lawrence recapped the experience of the event poignantly in several remarks made following the event. After recognizing this year’s drive as another successful outpouring of generosity, with 250 children getting to experience Christmas because of the gifts and donations given, Dr. Lawrence stated that, “What was even more powerful and awe-inspiring were the words of wisdom shared with our two young LEAP Foundation DC mentees, as they begin to assert themselves in the world and take their place as leaders of our next bright and capable generation.”
He continued, “Most of us are so keenly aware of the statement that it takes a village to raise a child, and I continue to be humbled and floored by the village that I have had the honor to be a part of in mentoring young men from the D.C. community.”
First crediting those directly responsible for the success of the two young men, Dr. Lawrence acknowledged their families. “Their parents and grandparents, who undoubtedly deserve the greatest credit for helping lead these young men day in and day out, have done a phenomenal job of instilling the values that our nation and world so desperately needs in its future leaders. And, as these young men continue to be placed in the midst of others who are intent on helping further guide them towards academic excellence, servant leadership, and social consciousness and activism, it is moving, beyond words, to see that our village is STRONG.”
Lawrence shared some of his most memorable moments of the night, as the host of doctors, educators, civic leaders, and influential individuals who comprised the aforementioned “village,” spoke positive and emboldening words to the young men.
“Powerful quotes rang throughout the room, empowering everyone present,” Dr. Lawrence stated, “but most importantly, resonating in the hearts and minds of our two youngest guests – quotes such as the one from Dallas Johnson who stated, ‘Every generation is going to lift up the next generation and keep the next generations and current generations going forward,’ and one from John Gordon, the Communications Director at the University of the District of Columbia who stated, ‘What they see is what they’ll be…there are no limits to the heights which you can soar,’ and one from Dr. John Wolfe who remarked, ‘You have the potential and the power to influence life for the remainder of this century.'”
He concluded, “While the message and reason for this event was clear, the added sharing of wisdom and inspirational words planted seeds of growth, opportunity, and promise for far longer than that one evening could ever account for.”
Happy New Year from the LEAP organizations, Dr. Lawrence, and the extended LEAP family.