LEAD eMagazine - Page 9

How did you become connected with LEAD?

I met CJ through my affiliation as a coach at East Cobb Baseball. He provided hitting instruction for my team. That happened in 2010. In the ensuing years, I came to know him through the LEAD mission. Friendship came soon after and as they say … the rest is history!!

What made you move from donor to board member?

I have chosen to be selective in the boards I serve. I prefer to go “deep” with a few rather than advisory with many. CJ and I have talked about LEAD for years. My completion of another board membership allowed me to commit to LEAD. I believe in the mission, trust CJ and Kelli and feel I can be a resource to LEAD’s continued growth in support of the young men LEAD serves.

With the current racial climate in America and knowing the curveballs of crime, poverty and racism that young, Black males face, what roles do you see L.E.A.D. Ambassadors playing in making Atlanta a more equitable community?

CJ and I are “friends” in the Atlanta Friendship Initiative (AFI). AFI’s simple approach is to connect people in friendship where engaging in dialogue and seeking to understand are commonly held principles. I believe the Ambassadors can connect to many others and provide that same dialogue and understanding, built on the values they have developed as a member of the LEAD family. Building their confidence and placing them in situations where they can engage will offer profound impact toward understanding the divide between races and the opportunities that come from collaboration.

Dave Schmit