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vilchildOne of my spiritually adopted kids has been having a hard time adjusting to college life. Not so much the classes but with how negative and cruel some young people can be. She has a good heart and always wants to watch out for others but she is realizing she cannot do it all. She wanted to quit. I was asked to write a letter for her scholarship renewal and I wanted to share it below in hopes that it helps others. I have changed the name to protect her privacy but, other than that, it is as written:

To Whom It May Concern,
It has been requested of me to write a letter of recommendation on behalf of Aaliyah ___ for your consideration of a scholarship award. A scholarship award, however great or small, represents the best of what a community has to offer. The qualifying factors may differ for each organization, however, in my humble opinion, what each award recipient actually represents is the best of our hopes.

In a world that is increasingly self centered and narcissistic, I have known Aaliyah to be that rare young lady amongst her peers who always seeks to live by the Golden Rule- to do unto others what she would expect to be done to her. It is a testimony to the diligence of her mother to instill within she and her sisters a heart to do right by others.

With such a heart in today’s times, I have watched Aaliyah struggle to be the person she has been raised to be in the face of a world where others of less noble character will do anything for their fifteen minutes of fame. Yet Aaliyah continues to blossom and grow with each test, continuing to try even when her best is questioned. She has not quit.

I believe it is in the best interest of our generation to encourage and promote youth such as Aaliyah. As a former educator, counselor, employer, and recruitment consultant, my experience has taught me that grades and test scores alone are no longer reliable indicators of future success. Schools, organizations, and even politicians have been rocked by scandals of late, diminishing the trustworthiness of what a degree actually means today.

However, what can be said of Aaliyah ___, is that her character is such that what she will achieve in life, she will have truly earned. Where others may appear to excel greater on paper, few will equal or exceed the value of the person she has already become.

I believe that, by supporting those qualities, Aaliyah ___ is destined to be a leader amongst her peers in a manner that gives me great hope that the future of our community, my people, this nation, and our world, is in good hands. Thus, it is my honor and with utmost prejudice, to recommend her highly for your consideration.

“Thank you so much for loving my kids. The time you spend with them is priceless. The letter brought me to tears because in my head, I had made up this story that because everything that I told you about how she had been acting a fool was going to tarnish your thoughts about writing anything good. Forgive me for my foolish thoughts, its just bad programming that has me this way. I love you for loving them unconditionally and know that my kids no matter what they want to do, if I tell them we are coming to your house they will put it aside and come. Thank you for giving them a chance to experience what it means to have a father’s love and a place where they feel safe and free to be themselves.”


There are many reasons and many stories behind why a child is missing a father, but ultimately, the truth rests somewhere in the middle of all the finger pointing. But that does not matter to the child affected. Kids need dads.And the moms who can get past their own issues to recognize that very important truth, are the ones who will prevent those issues from spreading to their kids. I would hope that every biological father would grasp the opportunity to make a difference, but that is not always possible in a healthy way. Still, the beauty of the black community is that we are still a village and we can step up and step in for the sake of our community. Thank you to my sistahs for allowing me that privilidge in a way that our community truly understands.

-Neo Blaqness