Before he took on the American Gangster, before he became Malcolm X, Denzel Washington was a kid just trying to get through life.
With encouragement from his family and his youth mentor at the Boys Club, Denzel was awarded a partial scholarship to attend Oakland Academy in upstate New York. He was one of about six inner-city kids there. “We were caught between school and the streets,” — Denzel describes the experience in his book A Hand to Guide Me (2006).
Denzel was raised by his mother. She knew education was the only way for him to leave the trouble of their small town. And like most kids, Denzel did not know the sacrifice his mother gave for him until much later in life. She took great pride in every cent she earned and saved that went towards his schooling.
It wasn’t until after his son was awarded a scholarship from Morehouse College, that Denzel came to understand that receiving a scholarship is not charity but a sign that someone believes in you.
Today Denzel is the spokesperson for the Boys & Girls Club of America and carries the belief that while destiny may be what we make of it, the extra pushes from others along the way is what helps us realize it.