Seeing this story on TV this morning:
Bill Cosby's HU freshmen settle in
"A June newspaper article about two high school seniors living on their own in Springfield, Mass., caught Cosby's eye. Two months later, the teenagers featured in the article, Loren Wilder and Jimmy Hester, along with their friend, Wesley White, were escorted to Hampton University by Bill Cosby, with the promise of an all-expense-paid education.(This story is from the Hampton Roads, VA Daily Press - I saw the story on the Today Show, but couldn't find anything about it on their website)
The three, who intend to try out for the university's football team, impressed Cosby with their ability to succeed without parental support. When they arrived on campus, they made pledges - not to forget where they came from, to work hard and to inspire one another.
"Look, you can't get any better than that," said Cosby, smiling."
The story on TV profiled the two boys that Cosby was impressed with - and they impressed me too. Basically abandoned by drug-using parents when they were 14 and 15 they stayed in school, played football and graduated with honors.
I'm hopeful that these three young men will succeed in college. Of course, college is much different than high school and there will be a lot different temptations to fail - without the home support a lot of new freshmen count on, the road will be rough but I hope they succeed.
Cosby has been the target of controversy lately in his calls for more active and responsible parenting in poorer minority communities. This is one way he's showing he's doing his part to help - by holding successful kids up as an example of what other can do when they raise themselves out of their own situations.
A personal note: in my experience in Theatre, I've run across several people who have either worked with Bill Cosby in the past, or known stories about him. A lot of them are unflattering, and don't quite fit with the "lovable father" persona he's built for himself. I don't know if they're quite accurate or not, but maybe these actions will help dispel those images. I hope so.
But seeing three kids go to college - three smart, ambitious, eager kids, who did not have the opportunity before - really makes me happy.
So there. :)