When I met him， I had a lot of anger inside of me. I‘ve lived my whole life in Spanish Harlem， but in my neighborhood， there are shoot-ups all the time. I know kids who have been shot or beaten up. I have friends who ended up in prison. I could have ended up that way， too， but Mr. Clark wouldn’t let that happen.
Mr. Clark worked long hours， making sure I did my work. My grades rose. In fact， the scores of our whole class rose. One day， he took our class to see The Phantom of the Opera， and it was the first time some kids had ever been out of Harlem. Before the show， he treated us to dinner at a restaurant and taught us not to talk with our mouths full. We did not want to let him down.