Marc Sims: A Dad Who Raised TWO Valedictorians

For those who take the media to heart, good fathers are hard to find--especially in Chicago. By contrast, the same journalists reporting negative statistics about African-American fathers have shown that good men like Marc Sims have become easy to ignore. 

For every story about a black male graduating with honors, there are at least a dozen about Donald Sterling and the LA Clippers controversy. Thankfully, Mr. Sims has caught the attention of one columnist seeking to "turn the tide" on negative coverage which seems to skew towards people of color. [He was featured in this article recently.]

For Mr. Sims, good parenting should not be a "chore" but a labor of love. In fact, he and his brothers come from a structured household. His parents were educated and encouraged him to go to school. Yet, he made choices which took him down a different path. 

The 51-year-old transportation professional dropped out of school in the early 1980s-- just months before graduation; In 1988, he completed requirements for his diploma. And 5 years later, he and his wife became parents. 

You may be wondering how I know these things about Mr. Sims. For me, he is a mentor and a friend. He doesn't just give fatherly advice to his own two children--both of whom have become valedictorians at the same high school; he gives advice to whomever is willing to listen.

Yet, he hasn't found many who will listen to his ideas. 

Mr. Sims regularly receives harsh criticism for promoting strong family values, hard work, and taking responsibility for our own neighborhoods. It appears as if folks are more upset about an NBA team owner's phone calls than responding to phone calls from their child's teachers. The numbers of African-American boys struggling in school are astonishing--but there is hardly any talk of boycotting the school system which set them up for failure. 

After the Sterling controversy goes away, there is a need for a real movement that can give our boys more options than the NBA. Sadly, no one seems to care except folks like Marc Sims.

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