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Author Thomas Nazario at Saint David's

This morning, Saint David’s was fortunate to welcome Thomas Nazario, founder and president of The Forgotten International, a nonprofit organization that works to alleviate poverty, to speak to our seventh and eighth graders about his new book Living on a Dollar a Day: The Lives and Faces of the World’s Poor (Quantuck Lane Press, 2014)

After being introduced by two of our seventh grade student council members, Mr. Nazario began by telling the boys about a seminal moment during his youth in Spanish Harlem;  how at 4 1/2 years of age he saw a mother and child going through the garbage for dinner on Thanksgiving Day, and how that experience left an imprint on him.

He told the boys “If you love writing and have something to offer the world, you should do it.”  His new book addresses his work’s passion: in more than 200 photos and text, it tells stories of the world’s poor, the one-sixth of the world’s population that lives on a dollar a day or less.

In preparation for the talk, the boys submitted to Mr. Nazario essays about the things for which they are grateful. Impressed with the boys’ thoughtful writings, he commented that the most common responses were gratitude for family, friends, school, and health.

He commended the boys for expressing the realization that they are fortunate and blessed to have so much good in their lives. 

A discussion about extreme poverty, and the social, economic, and political factors that contribute to issues like lack of access to education and basic health care ensued. 

This led to reflection on our school’s ultimate aspiration for our boys to “be good men.”  At Saint David’s this is made real by doing good, and by having our boys reach out to help communities both near and far, in ways both big and small.  

For the seventh and eighth grade boys, the discussion around qualities of a good man were particularly significant, as the seventh grade will explore examples of Agents for the Good this year, and the eighth grade will examine how thinkers of the Renaissance can inform our definition of what it means to be a good man today.

As Mr. Nazario put it: “ We all have the opportunity to do some good to leave this world better than when we arrived. That's what makes a meaningful life.” 

It was a moving and inspirational morning. I am certain our boys left the Hume Library with much to ponder.

This morning’s talk was made possible through our Parents Association Author Series, which annually brings noted authors to the school to talk to and inspire our boys.



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