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In the aftermath following the recent protests that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, many institutions along with Henry Ford College has partnered with Maxient, a college behavior records software company, in an initiative called #DearYoungPerson.

The initiative is a postcard campaign designed to bring a voice to youth who may have witnessed the violence and provide them with a positive outlet at a time when people seem divided. Members of the HFC community have been engaged in the writing of messages of hope, inspiration, encouragement, and positivity onto postcards that will be given to the youth of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organizations of Charlottesville. The messages will help eliminate the images of negativity and hopefully, help the youth view the world in a positive light. If you’re active on social media, show the world your involvement with the hashtag #DearYoungPerson and tweeting @BBBSOCBR.” Below are messages written by HFC members including the message that I sent:

Dear Young Person,
I want you to know that you are heard loud and clear, and under no circumstances are you ever alone. To the many children of Charlottesville, know that this moment doesn’t define who you are. You are so much more than the hate and violence this world tries to place on you. You are more than the lies people tell you; you are more than your fears. You are beautiful and intelligent and deserving of all good things. Do not allow hate to consume your head or heart — choose to be better and kinder to one another. I cannot promise that there won’t be pain, but I can tell you that no matter what burdens you carry in this lifetime, there will always be someone there to listen and love you just as you are. It is up to all of us to make a difference-one person at a time, starting with you!

Sincerely, Purest Hatcher

Dear Young Person,
May God bless you and bring comfort where there is pain. You have many praying for your city. May joy and brotherhood be felt around you as you move forward.

Dear Young Person,
Keep on, keeping on! When you smile the whole world will smile with you. Keep on smiling and the world will seem a little brighter.

Dear Young Person,
Love makes the world go around, not violence. Stay strong! Love more! Peace to you all!

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