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Paula Rogers, the always-inspiring education programs manager at our agency in Little Rock, Arkansas, really “gets” the best ways to motivate and challenge kids. Paula is a past recipient of the annual Lewis Hines award from the National Child Labor Committee, an award given for “unheralded and exceptional service to young people.” Here, she provides some pop-culture picks that have motivated and challenged herself in helping CI kids.

Words of wisdom from Paula:
“Hope is the one thing I find has been the uniting force in my picks. I believe in hope. I believe in the spirit of community to rebuild and bring together. I believe in love.”

Finding Forester

MOVIE: “Finding Forrester”

This movie tells the tale of Jamal, a gifted young writer (played by Rob Brown) befriended by a famous recluse (Sean Connery). The relationship between the inner city teen and the cantankerous writer demonstrates the impact one person’s encouragement and support can have on another’s life.

Seedfolks

BOOK: “Seedfolks” by Paul Fleischman

Using the viewpoints of 13 different people, this Newbery Medal winner tells of a neighborhood working together to transform a vacant city lot into a community garden — a heartwarming exploration of how a community is born and nurtured in an urban environment.

Get it on Amazon

Mia Birdsong TED Talk

TED TALK: “The story we tell about poverty isn’t true” by Mia Birdsong

Our greatest resource in the fight against poverty is the people living it. With nearly 1.5 million views, this TED Talk reminds us that “marginalized communities are full of smart, talented people, hustling and working and innovating, just like our most revered and most rewarded CEOs.”

Watch the TED Talk

Need more inspiration?

Here are some other picks from our field staff around the world.

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