Five-year-old Quintavius Scott stands in his great-grandmother’s bedroom. She often looks after him when he gets out of Head Start, a federally funded pre-school program for poor children. An only child of divorced parents, he lives with his mom, who lost her telemarketing job when the company relocated. She now works at a fast-food fried chicken restaurant while going to school. His dad Quinton works at a car parts store, where he makes $8.25 an hour but is also going to school for his General Education Diploma so that he can get a higher-paying job. He’s proud of Quintavius’ excellent grades and wants him to complete his education, so “he doesn’t fall onto the same path” as his dad. But he worries about his son growing up in Athens and facing racial discrimination, especially by police. “My son could be at the wrong place at the wrong time. He could be killed and nobody would care. A lot of good kids get killed and nobody does anything,” says Quinton.

Your Story

Share your story of hope and hard times with us, how you survived, if someone helped you and what the experience has meant to you. We will publish some of our favorites.



"Included in this group [the underrclass] are individuals who lack training and skills and either experience long-term unemployment or are not members of the labor force, individuals who are engaged in street crime and other forms of aberrant behavior, and families that experience long-term spells of poverty and/or welfare dependency."

- The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy, by William Julius Wilson