Christopher’s Story - Afterschool Programs

Christopher Parker of the Department of Health and Human Services stands smiling.

My cause is afterschool programs for underprivileged. I grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland, one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, but growing up I’ve always had friends in the neighboring Maryland counties and in D.C. Christopher Parker of the Department of Health and Human Services stands smiling.

As I grew older, and we went our separate ways I realized the simple opportunities I had, they did not have. Personally, I think “What if they were able to do ‘this’ or ‘that’? What if they didn’t have to see some of their friends succumb to violence or a life of crime? What if they got a warm meal every night?” In 2017, former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated, “We have to give kids exposure…We have to give them a glimpse into what exists outside of their block or their neighborhood.” Although his statement was in reference to STEMM education, after school programs for under privileged children provide the same experience. These programs provide an introduction to a vast selection of activities a child may not have the opportunity to explore elsewhere, maybe a meal they aren’t getting at home, and/or an escape from crime in some situations.

Christopher Parker, Department of Health and Human Services