thirdWhile I knew that I would welcome the time spent with my long-time friend at an open house, what came next was simply awesome – and unexpected. Upon entering this newly finished faith-based school building, young student “scholars” welcome us.

This 40,00 square-foot choice school, just a few blocks away from one of Milwaukee’s worst zip codes, captures a community solving locally  difficult  educational problems. Undaunted, these primarily African-American students accept faith first in their lives, followed by altruistic service to others. As our student scholar escort shared, God, Community then me. Yes, she stated, “I am third!”

How refreshing to know that we have a religious-based school that elevates others, especially in this ‘selfie’ generation. Our elected politicians would benefit greatly by visiting this school. Applause goes first to these families, many without a father, who defy the odds by dreaming of a better future for their children through education. With education comes future economic and social mobility. No school buses for these students. Their unwavering commitment is so profound that caregivers walk their children to and from school, as their houses and apartments ring this neighborhood school.

With the event over, the sizable gathering disbanded with each touched through the mission and courage of a community, and its dedicated educational stewards. As I headed west on the deserted highway, the young student’s comment echoed in my mind and soul: “I am third?” Would it be profoundly true that in being third, personal fulfillment is never greater?

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Matthew 22:37-40