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HAROLDĀ ALLEN

Harold Allen

©James Bennett Dream by SV Bosak

1930-
The "everyman" in the Club of Dreamers (Dream by Susan V. Bosak) representing the ordinary person who can make a difference.

An American youth mentor volunteering his time to work with inner city students.

Allen worked for 30 years with the Philadelphia Water Department.
When he retired, he decided to volunteer with Experience Corps and work with children to help them stay out of trouble.

Says Harold Allen:

"I try to reach out to every child. You get involved with them, and you find out about their personal lives and you're aware of what's really going on with them. Sometimes you're the only one that these children can talk to... tell what's going on in their lives. You need to assure them that they are all right. Children think that they are to blame in a lot of their situations. They need a lot of praise and love and recognition."

"[When you retire,] people look at you and say things like, 'I can't wait until I can retire so I can sit around like you.' But in reality, you wake up in the morning and wonder why. I was drawn to Experience Corps by the possibility of being able to effect some kind of positive change."

"When I was younger, I had no patience. I was intolerant. You had to be ready to stand up and change the world. But by the time you reach a certain age, you realize real change requires time, work, and patience."


Recommended Reading:

Prime Time: How Baby Boomers Will Revolutionize Retirement and Transform America by Marc Freedman. Public Affairs, 1999. Filled with compelling personal stories, this book highlights the ways in which older adults can enhance their own life while helping effect positive change in our communities.

© SV Bosak, www.legacyproject.org

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