George W. Bush photo

Remarks on the Mentoring Children of Prisoners Initiative in Greensboro, North Carolina

December 02, 2008

I am thankful that you all have come to talk to me about a very important initiative, and it's a mentoring program aimed at helping children of people who are incarcerated.

I set a goal for the country that from 2003 until 2008 that we'd have 100,000 such matches with adults combined with a child who could use some love. And I'm pleased that as of September we've exceeded that goal. And I want to thank you all for being a part of a program that, hopefully, is bringing hope to people's lives. I think it is.

First of all, I want to thank Stacey, Julia, and Destiney for sharing their stories, and I wish you all the best. I hope you— you're—I know you're appreciative that Joe, Melissa, and Emilee have taken time out of their lives to help you. I am hopeful that somebody who watches this show, watches this program, realizes that they can make a difference in a child's life. That doesn't take much. All it takes is time; it takes a little bit of extra love. But by helping a child, you can really help the country. You help yourself by loving, but you help America one heart, one soul at a time.

So, Chuck, thank you for your hospitality. The Youth Focus program here in Greensboro, North Carolina, is a part of Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Big Brothers and Big Sisters have begun to mentor towards these three youngsters. These youngsters got ambitions and goals. They want to go to college. They want to make a difference. And I suspect that the mentors will be anxiously following the career of someone who they have been able to help.

And so thank you all for coming. God bless you and good luck to you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:58 a.m. at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Greensboro office. In his remarks, he referred to Stacey Harris, Jr., Julia Foster, and Destiney Carter, Big Brothers Big Sisters participants; Joseph Gladson, Melissa Larkin, and Emilee Christopher, Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors; and Charles Hodierne, executive director, Youth Focus, Inc.

George W. Bush, Remarks on the Mentoring Children of Prisoners Initiative in Greensboro, North Carolina Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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