Local nonprofit urges youths to ‘learn, earn and return’

WASHINGTON — Stan Richards was the kid who didn’t have a father, he couldn’t read, and he was using drugs back in the 1980s.

But he has turned his life around.

“I drove a bus for 18 years and decided at 44 years old to read my first book,” he said. “And by 47 I was a published author.”

Father’s Day weekend is a time when we take a look at fathers who not only teach their own children, they mentor kids who don’t have a father figure to look up to. Richards is the founder of The Richards Group Foundation, a nonprofit that assists low-income neighborhoods in D.C. and Prince George’s County, Maryland. He also works with at-risk kids.

His motto is to learn, earn and return.

“I even challenge all the men in my circle,” Richards said.  “It’s very, very important that we continue to learn because there’s always another level.  And, we must earn, as well, because we need money to make a difference, especially in our community. It’s our responsibility to go back.”

He said kids just want to know that good things are possible — the reason he tells them his story.

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