Linda Cliatt-Wayman’s resumé reads like a successful educator progressing to upper management. That is, until 2013. In 2013, only months ago, Ms. Cliatt-Wayman volunteered to be the principal at Strawberry Mansion High School in North Philadelphia. According to ABC News, this American school has 94 security cameras2. There are 10 violent incidents per 100 students, and 96% of the students live in poverty (Kelly Phillips Erb, Forbes )3. No one wanted the job of principal; so Linda Cliatt-Wayman accepted God’s call and volunteered.
Ms. Cliatt-Wayman recently spoke at the Massachusetts Conference for Women. Her voice reverberated throughout the room, calling ten thousand listeners to action. She talked about the power of education, and asked us to make sure that every child has the opportunity to learn. “What I know for sure,” she said, “is that one person can make a difference in the life of a child. So when you meet one, help one” (minute 12:10).
Inspired by her speech, my post for the week prompted readers to “ask me why I cried when Linda Cliatt-Wayman spoke”. One reader took me up on that challenge and asked me to explain. Which I will do; in my next post.
For now, this post is about the children. It’s about education. It’s about how one woman answered her calling and is giving the teenagers of Philadelphia her very best. If you have not heard Ms. Cliatt-Wayman’s story, do yourself a favor and take fifteen minutes to listen. If you do, and you have always felt you should do more for this world of ours, you won’t need to read my next post. You will already know why I cried.
1) The photo of Ms. Cliatt-Wayman indirectly links to the Strawberry Mansion High School scholarship fund. This site’s links have not been screened by the writer, so before donating, please conduct research to make sure this is a cause you wish to support. Please read the disclaimer below.