Uplifting column in the AJC this morning from a young woman who overcame her environment:

I was supposed to be an emotional ‘crack baby,’ a problem child, a troublemaker, a statistic.

By some accounts, the 1980s was a decade of pop culture and good times. Across many communities, however, an epidemic of drug use was taking place. I was born in 1983, conceived by two parents who both used drugs at the time.

When I was born in Atlanta’s Grady Hospital, my mother was asked to participate in a scientific study that would monitor my cognitive reception, intelligence, personality, habits and overall attitude for the next 24 years. The study was designed to monitor the progression of those born under the predilection that at some point in their life, they would be strongly affected by drug use.

Last summer, I participated in one of the final portions of the study. I impressed the testers in every test I took by my college degree, field of study and the fact that I have no kids out of wedlock. I was employed in a good internship in Midtown and I had no emotional disorders, no prior arrests and no drug dependence.

You should read the rest — her story is incredible. She took advantage of all the programs available for disadvantaged youth, a powerful indicator that such programs really are effective.

She specifically mentioned the Kim King Foundation which “exists to provide educational opportunities for underprivileged children in the West End area of Atlanta.” Luckily, the foundation accepts PayPal donations, a convenience that prevented me from putting off (and later forgetting) to make a contribution. Here’s the link.