Christian Long

Bill Strickland: Change with a Slide Show

In TED Talks on April 25, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Reflection by ERIN M.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Bill Strickland:  Change with a Slide Show

Bill Strickland changes the way America treats people who live in poverty.

In his presentaion he shows slide shows of the work he has done. Strickland provides schools for highschoolers who have been rejected and adults who need a foundation for a better tomorrow. His work began with inspiration from art. He threw out all classes that might be considered important in order to make pottery in an art class he was not apart of. However, he still graduated from highschool and has been doing work that is helping inspire our nation as a whole. He has a passion for bettering the life of others. He has hope for the people who were said to have none.

“I’m the guy who came into the neighborhood who got into the place on probation. Don’t give up on the poor kids because you never know what will happen to those chidren in life.”–Bill Strickland

Strickland is a wonderful example of all the children in the world who have great ideas and big hearts, but they are unable to express them because of the status in which they are in.

His first mission began in Pittsburg, which has one of the highest crime rates. He built the Bedrock Training center for ex-steal workers and welfare mothers. He established this school to give these people a new life. Another building of his was the Manchester Craftsmen Skillcenter. His schools were designed for adults and highschoolers who needed someone to show them that they cared. His buildings included beautiful artwork, fountains, and flowers. The effort he put into making his school look nice was amazing to me because I have never seen a school that looked as beautiful as his, not even a “rich kid school”. All of the things that he has added to his schools create an atmosphere that is inviting and comforting.

Strickland said, “If you want to involve yourself in a life where pople have been given up on, you have to look like the solution and not the problem.”

Another fascinating feature of Strickland’s school is the million dollar kitchen. This kitchen was provided by Heins Ketchup and it gave the school an opportunity to have a cullinery school. With the nice kitchen, the students also get to have a worldclass cafeteria. If you give the students a highclass environment they will behave like highclass people. Strickland’s video  made me understand that people don’t behave badly because they live in bad areas. People only behave badly if you treat them like bad people.

Strickland’s schools provide for many opportunities. It is not difficult to go to his school because he has open arms to anyone that wants to change their life. I think what Strickland does is very important to our nation. I think more people need to be like him. It does not mean that everyone has to build schools for the poor, but their are many other ways to help. Everyone can make simple contributions to helping people in need. Even if you just say a few simple kind words to someone then it could inspire them to be kind to others.


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