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Stand with TJ Williams and Boston's Rising Class


We're all in this together. TJ Williams knows this better than most.  TJ was only four months old when a drunk driver killed his mother. Addiction and grief left his father unfit to care for TJ and his siblings, so he was adopted by his grandmother in Boston. But by the age of 18, TJ was kicked out of school and living on the streets.

Homeless, TJ had no money, no prospects, no future. And he had never learned to believe in himself or our ability to rise together. After months on the street, he met Barbara Lanum. Barbara worked with him at a nonprofit moving company dedicated to helping homeless people in transition and she told TJ her own story of rising out of homelessness. Before passing away in 2010, Barbara showed him kindness and put pressure on him to dream and achieve. With her help, TJ joined the Rising Class. He got a home and a job, and has reunited with his family.

To inspire others to rise, TJ shared his story with, a new site for stories of success in Boston’s communities. Through, people like TJ have a platform for building the social networks that are necessary for each individual’s success.

Sign the petition now if you stand with TJ Williams and the Rising Class, supporting the belief that we can all rise together, as a community and as a city.

From being homeless on the streets of Boston, TJ Williams built a future for himself because others believed in him and helped him rise.

Like TJ, every member of Boston’s diverse communities deserves access to the basic building blocks of success: a decent education, a shot at a good job and quality social connections. But not everyone has such access.

Launched by Boston Rising, provides a platform for building those social networks that are necessary for each individual’s success. Through, individuals like TJ can share videos and stories and help foster the networks that are vital to rising. These success stories can remind us all that people are living their own rising story every day.

Boston Rising started this petition with a single signature, and now has 7,543 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.