Tallahassee Man Uses Disability to Educate Students

By: Lee Gordon Email
By: Lee Gordon Email

There are those who give back to kids, but there aren't many people like Zachery Richardson.

As President, founder, and executive director of the character center, Zachery is giving Tallahassee children something he didn't have as a child. A chance to be successful and achieve your dreams.

A stone's throw away from FAMU's campus sits the Character Center. An unassuming building from the outside, but on the inside---a place where children thrive.

"When my adopted parent died of ovarian cancer, I made a promise that I would take my heritage and create a product to help other kids life myself," said Zachery Richardson, Executive Director of the Character Center.

Like himself means kids with a disability. Richardson is dyslexic. But never once did he worry about the disability of it---instead, he focused his ability to become successful but more than that, to teach children right from wrong.

"I was a kid that wasn't doing the right things. I had some character flaws. This kept me in line. I still make my mistakes, but for the most part, I try to be an example to the kids."

"I noticed that it's real," said Character Center Employee Marvel Pauyo, "A lot of people, it's just a job but he..There is so many things he can be doing but he stays here."

Because here is where Richardson is making a difference. Here is where he's partnered with Mayor Marks to help kids read. And here is where kids are able to talk about their fears, their hopes, and their dreams and not worry about anything but becoming a better person.

"That's what we're about, correcting behavior problems, correcting academic failures, and teaching kids how to love themselves first."

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