Foreword by Will SmithInfluenced in no small part by the powerful mentors in his own youth, the award-winning educator and acclaimed author of I Choose to Stay offers a commonsense, inspiring road map to mentoring kids to thrive in today's challenging world--and creating a legacy of success for generations to come. With over twenty years of experience helping hundreds of troubled children excel academically and personally, Salome Thomas-EL has an action plan that all of us--educators, businesspeople, volunteers, relatives, and everyday folks--can use to reach out to the young people in our lives.By identifying the most important areas in which mentors can affect the lives of young people, Thomas-EL shows how you can be of influence in ways you may not expect. Whether you decide to provide a professional influence by exposing youth to the dynamics of the workplace, or a healthy influence by modeling participation in sports and showing how to make healthful food choices, or an influence in good character through interactions that demonstrate respect, friendship, and discipline, you'll find that the immortality of influence is achievable in every arena of life. Anything is possible when kids are given our time, taught to care for themselves and others, and led by our example--not only at home, but in the community at large. For any caring adult, this book is an essential guide to making a difference--not just for today, but forever.Praise for I Choose to Stay"Intensely moving...The redemptive power of a teacher's love shines through these pages with prophetic grace." --Jonathan KozolSalome Thomas-EL is a national education expert, media consultant, and former award-winning teacher and principal in Philadelphia. He has motivated thousands of parents and students to embrace the philosophy that education and hard work come before success. Thomas-EL received national acclaim as a teacher and chess coach, and his students have gone on to become National Chess Champions. He is a national board member of America's Foundation for Chess and keynotes scores of school district convocations, national and state conferences, and motivational presentations for students around the country. He has been called "An American Icon" by Reader's Digest magazine and received the distinguished Martin Luther King Award. Principal EL is a regular guest contributor on the first season of the The Dr. Oz Show and frequently appears on C-SPAN, CNN, and NPR Radio. His first book, I Choose to Stay, was optioned by Disney Films. Learn more about Salome and his students at ichoosetostay.com.Cecil Murphey is the writer, co-writer, or ghostwriter of more than 100 books, including Salome Thomas-EL's I Choose to Stay; Gifted Hands, the award-winning biography of Dr. Ben Carson; and 90 Minutes in Heaven. He received the Gold Medallion award for Rebel with a Cause, the autobiography of Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham. He has twice won the Silver Angel Award for Excellence in Media.