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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Lisa Williams
Leonard Hankerson is experiencing what his father could not. Being a dad fortifies his identity as he becomes a man himself at age 24. He navigates typical challenges of fatherhood in an atypical dynamic: He is operating without a blueprint; he's the product of a culture in which raising children is optional for fathers in many cases, and his job as a receiver for the Washington Redskins significantly impacts his role as a provider and caretaker for his children.
The two football fields at Lauderhill Middle School come alive each weeknight during the summer and fall. Youth football teams of all ages practice on their allotted sections of turf. Whistles chirp between the crunches of shoulder pads and helmets. Cheerleader squads rehearse their routines on the periphery.
D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray has been in office just 2½ months, but his administration already is reeling under allegations that cash payoffs were made during his campaign and that he doled out high-paying city jobs to political friends who were either underqualified or had undisclosed criminal pasts.
"I'm happy that he made it the way he did, but I'm trying to get there, too," she said. "I want a child care license for myself so maybe we could open a day care in the future."
"It was a struggle for us," she said. "I'm not going to say it was a good life. It was crazy. We wasn't fortunate, and we wasn't able to get anything we want."