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Wednesday April 23, 2014
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Taking Flight

 

continued

He learned about the program from a New York friend of his dad's. A couple of telephone interviews, and he was hired into the competitive nationwide program that pays young people poverty wages to work in troubled schools. The only child of divorced parents, Grimard, who lives here with his father (his mother lives in Arizona), liked the idea of "being a role model for young guys who didn't have a father."

At the school, he worked one-to-one with several kids. Edgar, twelve, was his biggest challenge. Raised solely by his mom, Edgar was in danger of failing all his classes--and didn't seem to much care. Early on, in frustration, Grimard sometimes walked away after talking to him. "Then I realized that other people had walked away from him," he says. Grimard eventually interested Edgar enough to seek him out for extra tutoring. And when the school year ended, the boy called him at home to share good news: "Mr. G, I passed and I made it to eighth grade."

"That was awesome, man," Grimard says, his voice rising with excitement. "He passed the seventh grade! Just that call was worth [the entire year]."

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