Sunday, May 15, 2016

"Lil Eddie" "My Brother" "Composed & Sung By Charles DeFontes"

Strive to survive

Original Posting Here 

The drive to transform neighborhoods, create nonprofits and support close-to-the-heart causes makes these individuals stand out in the eyes of their peers.

“Stat­ist­ic­ally, I shouldn’t be who I am today,” Charles “Chah­lie” Steck­er, of 13th and Jack­son streets, said.
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“Stat­ist­ic­ally, I shouldn’t be who I am today,” Charles “Chah­lie” Steck­er, of 13th and Jack­son streets, said.
A man of many trades, Steck­er works as a Demo­crat­ic com­mit­teep­er­son, a judge of elec­tions at South Phil­adelphia High School, 2101 S. Broad St., and a vo­lun­teer with Lower Moy­a­mens­ing Civic As­so­ci­ation.
He is a U.S. Coast Guard vet­er­an, a con­tact ne­go­ti­at­or rep­res­ent­ing the Phil­adelphia Se­cur­ity Of­ficer’s Uni­on, an avid mo­tor­cycle rider and a full-time se­cur­ity of­ficer for Cen­ter City’s Al­lied­Bar­ton.
Steck­er is also a child ab­use sur­viv­or.
“I was quiet for many years, but when I saw the mag­nitude of what was go­ing on and the ef­fect it was hav­ing on fam­il­ies and chil­dren, I felt strongly that … I didn’t go through what I went through to keep it to my­self,” Steck­er, 49, said.
At age 4, he watched his foster moth­er kill his 2-year-old broth­er. The tra­gic event has in­spired Steck­er to speak out against child ab­use, and help those who have been af­fected.
“Something in­side is driv­ing me to do this,” Steck­er said. “I be­lieve that each of our ex­per­i­ences in life, wheth­er they’re pos­it­ive or neg­at­ive, is a way of learn­ing. We should use it to help oth­ers.”
Steck­er foun­ded the In­ter­na­tion­al Child Ab­use Pre­ven­tion Task Force, an or­gan­iz­a­tion geared to­ward stop­ping child ab­use be­fore it starts with pro­act­ive pro­grams, while also sup­port­ing the ab­used with re­act­ive in­ter­ven­tion.
“If we can get the ab­user to stop ab­us­ing then we [can break] the cycle of ab­use,” he said. “Those who do ab­use have something in their past that trig­gers it. It shouldn’t be an ex­cuse, but it’s still a real­ity.”
Through his sys­tem, more than 4,000 vo­lun­teers around the coun­try are in charge of ca­ter­ing to people who see ab­use in their towns but don’t want to re­port it, wheth­er it’s be­cause of fear or an­oth­er reas­on.
“If you don’t wanna call [to re­port it], you call us,” Steck­er, who has a daugh­ter, Chrysti Lyn Steck­er, said. “One of the vo­lun­teers will go out while it’s hap­pen­ing … and they make the call to the law en­force­ments.”
Steck­er star­ted his jour­ney to­ward fight­ing against child ab­use by act­ing as an in­spir­a­tion­al speak­er for “Chah­lie’s An­gel,” in re­mem­brance of his broth­er. Through this ini­ti­at­ive, he en­cour­aged people not to have their past in­ter­fere with their fu­ture.
“My free time is serving oth­er people,” Steck­er said. “It ful­fills me, it’s my call­ing and it makes me happy.”
Con­tact the South Philly Re­view at ed­it­or@south­phil­lyre­

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