A local principal beats the odds - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

A local principal beats the odds

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Monday many people will gather to celebrate the birthday of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Friday,  we talked with a local principal who beat the odds and now is helping young children to succeed.

The principal of Martin Luther King Academy for boys works with a dedicated staff and students who are making the grade. But what most people may not know about principal Willie Ward is he's a product of the Martin Luther King Kitchen for the Poor.

"The Martin Luther King Kitchen for the Poor served me in that they recognized the need that my family had and made it a vehicle for me getting over there to the kitchen for the poor to eat and to understand the community was reaching out," said principal Willie Ward.

The kitchen serves over 250 meals to low income and homeless families. It opened in 1969 after the late Reverend Harvey Savage Sr. saw a man eating out of a garbage can.

Ward credits the kitchen for helping him understand the life struggles of the young men who walk the halls of his school.

"I understand that struggle is part of getting to the next level. Sometimes struggle is intense as we often see here but we understand that the kids come to us they just want help," said Ward.

He says the MLK Kitchen for the poor helped to lay the foundation to get him where he is today.  Now he's giving back as a principal to help other children become successful

"If you can conceive in your mind then you can achieve it," said Ward.

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