OK, so you spent six months in boot camp and this is your second chance but you are not expected to have triumph. "This program has not had a good success rate from its residents." I remember the judge who uttered these words at the graduation ceremony.

She was an excellent speaker and connected well with the audience. Parents, friends, relatives, mentors, politicians, guests and residents were in attendance.

Judge Glory, not her real name, was a real attorney before becoming a judge.

The judge spoke about how our lives are filled with choices. "We all have choices," she said. She did not come from a wealthy family, but she became successful by her choices of hard work in pursuit of her education.

She married a successful man and had children who went to college. This is not to say that she did not face hardships. One of her children had medical problems that were devastating and it seemed like they would never be able to find a solution.

However, she never gave up. Luckily, in time there were medical solutions for her family's medical problems. This is not to say that her life was without other problems. We all have problems. "It is how we handle those problems that we raise above the problem and into the solution," she said.

The solution is always there so close that sometimes we are unable to see it. Her message was: "Have faith and have hope because opportunities are abundant in the United States of America."

The residents were fortunate to get help from some University of Texas-Pan American students and their professor in making a literary journal chockfull of drawings and poems. They placed their time and careful dedication into this project that allowed residents to express their fears, their joys, their mistakes, their lost loves, their pains, their loss of freedom, their dreams, their release of energy, their troubles, their private thoughts, their crying over the past, not listening and just getting high.

Hopefully these residents who have regained their freedom will find someone to mentor and help them through life's trials and tribulations.

How do our children get to that place where we as parents cannot help and must turn to higher authority of the state or federal government?

Is it that horrible TV that spews out those mindless hours of babble that is labeled cable entertainment, action horror or adult entertainment? I do not know. I do not claim to have the answers to any questions. I do share a huge concern over the lack of recreational reading or the lack of appeal for reading in our culture of high-tech iPods, Xboxes, Gameboys and other mindless toys if they go unmonitored.

Let me off this podium. That was not my intent. I just want you dear reader to be aware that you have an enormous impact on someone that is impressionable and younger. You have a duty to mentor because you can. Do not underestimate your power of positive impact.