We’ve seen the results of Flippin’ the Script, but I knew less about the Rev’s other program until recently. Let me pass on this story, straight from the Rev: About 20 years ago, there were two Mikes in the Open Door program. They were both charismatic, natural leaders. One was Mike Asbury, who left the program and became the leader of the Rollin’ 30 Crips – and wound up murdered.
The other was Michael Hancock, who became the mayor of Denver.
Last year, in the face of tight budgets and a soft economy, Open Door decided to shift the focus of its after-school ACE program (Academic and Character Education). Instead of trying to reach a large number of kids, the program now focuses on a smaller group of about 25 students. Through intensive intervention and education, the program is working to produce strong community leaders – like Mayor Hancock – who can act as role models to other children and create an anti-gang ripple effect.
I respect the efforts and the results of Rev. Kelly’s organization. In the big picture, our donation was relatively small. But I’m proud to know that it is part of a much larger effort to support at-risk kids and adult ex-gang members. He’s doing good work. If you’d like to help the Rev with a donation of either money or time, check out www.opendooryouth.org.