Dear Dr. Laura,
Last fall you had a caller who wanted to build confidence in their young son, and you suggested martial arts with a strong male teacher. Your other comments about the benefits of it for boys got me to wondering about one of my 4th grade students, and how martial arts would benefit his growth and development. Knowing his family could not afford lessons, I began looking for ways I could help fund lessons for this boy or other boys in similar situations of divorce, low income, rough neighborhood, etc
A good friend and co-worker's husband has a black belt, and so does her son. I inquired if they would be able to teach my student as well as other at-risk boys after school in our gym. I understand it is tradition for former students to give lessons as a way of giving back to the martial arts school. Once she inquired and explained the situation to her husband, he talked to the owner of the Dojo, and the owner offered my student 6 months of lessons as a scholarship. His family agreed to the scholarship and the certificate for lessons was given to him as a Christmas present. After Christmas break, he told me all about his lessons and how excited he was. He does not know my role or my co-worker's role in his scholarship. He is now getting close to the end of his 6 months and just recently tested and passed his first white belt. The instructors have positive comments to say about this boy. I saw a change in his classroom behavior and when he would start to challenge me, I would ask him, "Would you do that in the Dojo?" He had a quick "No Ma'am" for me. I have stayed in touch with his instructors and kept them up to date on his grades and attitude. As the 6 months are coming to an end, I will look for other ways to help fund his instruction.
Dr. Laura, thank you for all you do. You never know how your comments will change a situation or cause action by your listeners. Your commentary on the benefits of martial arts got me thinking, which got me into action - a side effect of listening to you - and hopefully changed the course of life for one at-risk boy.