Some Englewood Parents Succeeding, Despite Atmosphere Of Violence
(CBS) — This is Englewood, where Trevor McGraw is trying to raise his two sons: 9-year-old Latrelle and 10-year-old Lerone.
He watches them when they play, takes them to the park, walks them to school and prepares them for the times he may not be around.
“I got to sleep with them, I wake up with them. They ain’t got no choice,” the father says.
He tells them to be wary of “crowds” and “saggy pants.”
“They don’t ask why. They listen. They’re good boys,” McGraw says.
And they’re excellent students, on the honor roll. McGraw says mom stays on top of the homework, but they both stress discipline. No video games during the week.
Fourteen year old Marquis Sewell lives a few blocks south of the McGraws. He’s learned similar lessons from his parents.
“I don’t really enjoy being out here. I can’t play outside like I want to or meet new people,” he says.
When menacing guys approach, he says, “I’ve been taught to walk away and not really acknowledge them.”
Sewell goes to school out of the community. His parents drive him. They keep him busy after school and every summer with camps and other educational activities.
It’s paid off.
“I want to be a marine biologist. I have been studying marine biology and I feel that it’s like a God-given gift,” he says.
His mother, Lakeisha Gray-Sewell, is asked about the advice she has for parents in similar circumstances.
“Make sure they’re exposed to different organizations, different opportunities, that they’re exposed to art, culture especially,” she says. “Seek always to learn and to grow yourself and then your child will see that and they will emulate you.”
Both parents also keep their children active in organized sports and stress the importance of family time.