Couldn’t relevant stories be used to inspire youth to enjoy reading?

Romeo Academy Youth

ROMEO Preparatory Academy for Boys, Paris Texas

125sqMFTHbookWhile writing my memoir, Manhood From the Hood, I experienced emotions most memoir writers experience.  How will my story benefit others? Will others relate? There were a multitude of internal directed questions I had to face as a new writer.

One inspirational comment came from a youth I’m mentoring:

“Mr. Roddy, I enjoyed reading your book.  I learn so much more about you and how you were raised.  I was able to relate to all of your stories. I liked your honesty when you shared meeting your biological father for the first time. So many of us young men still struggle with this aspect of our lives. Why don’t you try to see if schools would consider using your book?”


Manhood From the Hood has received praise from ROMEO Preparatory Academy for Boys in Paris, Texas under the leadership of David DeWayne Barker, to inspire youth to the value of literacy, reading relevant stories that reflect their lives.


Couldn’t hundreds or thousands  more youth be inspired to value literacy while reading relevant life stories?



Fatherhood lost…and not forgotten


My dad passed away and was buried during the first 2 weeks of August 1987. So for twenty-four years, the first 2 weeks of August have been a time of deep reflection for me.

My dad and I had a close bond while I was a little girl. He could do no wrong in the eyes of his only daughter.

But from the time I reached puberty until his death, our relationship was contentious. Dad was a proud, unyielding, old school type of guy—common for his generation. That clashed mightily with my budding feminism throughout the 1970s and ‘80s.  We bewildered—no, pissed one another off—regularly.

But it’s during this anniversary time that I think about how much I’ve evolved and matured over the twenty-four years he has been gone; how I’ve made peace with the man who used to rile me up. I know I loved him and I know he loved me before I even knew what love is. If he were still alive today, surely Dad would have matured and evolved as well, don’t you think?

Remember that old saying about most of life’s traumas? “One day you’ll look back on this and laugh!”

Dad, I’m laughing my head off at our former silliness. I bet you are laughing too.

The Importance of Personal Values

In my opinion the world would be a better place if people had better “values.” According to the Ethics Resource Center (2009), the short definition for values is core beliefs that guide and motivate attitudes and actions.

Values are usually established early in life but over time an individuals values may change. Values help provide you with a strong foundation and give you guidance throughout your life. Values help you gain clarity about what you stand for. We express values in our relations with other people when we are honest, loyal, trusting, trustworthy, reliable, and feel a sense of responsibility for our family and friends.

A few personal values that I carry are: family, self-reliance, discipline, integrity, person growth, friendship, and much more. My values help me stay motivated and they give me guidance. Values are usually established in the home but it is up to the individual to keep those values. My son more than likely do not know this right now but I instill my values into him on a day to day basis. I am sure he will thank me later. By being a business owner I have also realized that my personal values are in alignment with my business values which is very important.

It should not be difficult to make decisions in life if you know what you value!

Cortez Wilson