Written by The New Pittsburgh Courier
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SHARON DANIELS WITH REV. EILEEN SMITH
Having lost her son in 2001 in a shooting, Sharon Daniels knows all too well the pain of senseless youth violence. That same pain motivated her to do something. She knew that if given a choice, teens could be successful and could come together — with a little guidance.
“I was not afforded the luxury of turning my head to the problems our young people face today,” Daniels said. Through the Isaiah Project, Daniels nurtures teens in the south Pittsburgh neighborhoods. No stranger to the human services arena, Daniels also runs My Brother’s Keeper, a transitional living facility for adults who have an identifiable substance abuse problem and want to get help.
Daniels said she came up with the programs title because of the scripture at Isaiah 11:6, “The lion will lay down with the lamb and a mere child will lead them.”
“That touched me, because I believe that is going to be the answer,” she said. “Isaiah worked closely with the Lord and the Lord used him. He was one of the most powerful prophets. I believe children can be leaders and be the young men and women they were meant to be.”
TIP aims to help teens excel academically while providing vocational and social skills through hands-on learning. “Our kids are leaving high school as functioning illiterate,” Daniels said. “And their limitations are vast. They haven’t been exposed to proper learning, how to study and pull information out of the written word. This is one reason why our kids don’t do well on standardized testing.”