In his book Chicken Soup for the Soul, Eric Butterworth tells of a college sociology class that was sent into the Baltimore slums to take case histories of 200 young boys. The students were required to write an evaluation of each boy's projected future, and in virtually every case, they wrote, "He hasn't got a chance."

Some twenty-five years later, another professor came across the earlier study and decided to do a follow-up study. With the exception of twenty boys who had died or moved, the study revealed that 176 of the remaining 180 boys had gone on to surprising success, with many becoming lawyers, doctors, and leading businessmen.

When the men were asked for the reasons that contributed to their successes, they all pointed to one particular teacher who had influenced them. The teacher was still alive, so the professor went to visit her to ask how she had influenced boys seemingly destined for poverty and crime to become such success stories.

"It's really very simple," she responded. "I loved those boys."


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Illustration from: Robert R. Kopp, Pastor, Logans Ferry Presbyterian Church, New Kensington, PA