The Little Boy With a Big Heart


Meet Devonte: The Little Boy With a Big Heart

A young boy who was born into a life of drugs, extreme poverty, danger and destined for a bleak future is defying stereotypes in the most remarkable way. And his latest encounter at a grocery store is bound to open your eyes, widen your mind and capture your heart.

To truly understand just how incredible this encounter was, you need to know some history.

Devonte Hart entered the world 12 years ago with drugs pumping through his tiny newborn body.

By the time he was four years old he had smoked, consumed alcohol, handled guns, been shot at and suffered severe abuse and neglect.

He knew only a handful of words, including fuck and shit, and he struggled to identify with the names of food, body parts and everyday objects. Devonte was a violent toddler and his health was weighed down by a heavy list of disabilities.

It was a life with little hope and a future that seemed over before it began.

That is until Jen Hart and her wife Sarah entered Devonte’s life and adopted him and his two siblings seven years ago.

Jen says the day she met Devonte was frightening and traumatic.

“That night, after we finally got him to sleep, I cried harder than I had ever cried in my life. I felt like there was no way we could raise this child, and the five others we had adopted.”

Yet, she says, there was something inexplicable pulling at her heart.

“I felt more connected to this fragile little boy more than I had ever felt to anyone in my life.”

With their unconditional love, nurturing natures, patience and acceptance, Devonte defied all odds and has grown into a young charismatic man with a heart of gold.

He inspires me every single day. He has proven doctors, psychologists and teachers wrong. His future is most definitely not bleak, he is a shining star in this world. His light shines bright on everyone on his path. People always tell us how lucky he is that we adopted him. I tell you, we most certainly are the lucky ones. Yes indeed he is living proof that our past does not dictate our future.
Devonte’s charm and genuine kindness has surprised his parents on many occasions including the time he asked if he could spend his 11th and 12th birthday raising money for charity, or when he clung to musician Xavier Rudd And then again earlier this week while standing in the grocery store’s checkout line.

Jen has shared what played out on her Facebook page and with Paper Trail. She writes:

An elderly man was standing at the end of the bagging area conversing with the woman checking us out. He spots our son — looks him up and down.
Man: I can tell you are going to be a baseball player when you grow up.

Son: *Pauses, tilts his head and gives a closed mouth grin* Actually, no. Baseball isn’t really my thing.

Man: Well, I can tell you are going to be a ball player.

Son: (As his mom, I can tell there is a slight frustration inside of him) No, I don’t even play baseball.

Checkout lady: Oh, I bet you’re going to be a basketball or soccer player then!

Son: No, I don’t play any sports. It’s just not my thing. There’s nothing wrong with sports or anything, I just have other interests.

Checkout lady: (in a befuddled nearly astonished voice) WHAT!?!? I have NEVER met a kid that looks(!!!) like you that doesn’t play sports.

Man: *chuckling* Right?! Never. They all do!

***My face was as red as my hair at this point. It was so obviously clear what was happening. While I wanted so badly to step in and protect my son from the ongoing racial stereotyping, I didn’t. I let him step into his own power and he handled it brilliantly***

Son: Well, of course you’ve never met a kid like me. I’m one of a kind. There’s not another person like me.

Man: Well, what do you want to be when you grow up?

Son: I’m here to help people. I’m here to inspire. Now.

Man: Oh, so you’re going to be a doctor? (as he laughed while he said it — not kidding)

Son: No, I’m not.

Man: Well, being a doctor is the best way to help people. What are you going to do to help and inspire people?

Son: (putting the last of the bags in the cart) I’m going to be myself. No matter how much people try to make me something I am not. Have a great night! *flashes ginormous smile*

“I think this kid will be alright. No matter what is tossed at him,” Jen says.

Jen hopes the question, what do you want to be when you grow up?, extinguishes from our cultural lexicon.

“Perhaps we can replace it with questions that don’t catapult children 20 years into the future. What are you passionate about? What inspires you? What excites you? What makes you feel good?

“I think society needs all the reminders they can get that they are not defined by their careers. And for the love of the universe, let’s not categorise abilities by skin tone. Let’s move forward, shall we?”

Written by Chloe Johnson 11/13/14 12:46 PM ET ( from the Huffington Post )


Positive Distraction: Alphonso Gee

In the mist of the troubling moments surrounding Paterson, New Jersey they still manage to move forward in the best positive ways possible.

This past Friday I attended Rosa Parks High School to watch the play ” HAM ” written by historic writer Langston Hughes and it was a very uptempo & enjoyable play. One of the actors in the play is John F. Kennedy high school point guard Alphonso Gee Who had an exceptional year last season for the John F. Kennedy High School Knights Basketball team. Alphonso led the team to the finals of their county tournament and to the state sectional semi-finals. He averaged 22.4 ppg and has surpassed the 1000 point career total as only a sophomore.

Not only is Alphonso won player of the year for the JFK Knight, he also is a young man of many talents who brings smiles to the faces of those who follow him on social media & in person. Alphonso’s role in the play this past Friday was played as Gilbert and he was a perfect fit for that role and also played another role showing off his dance moves in one of the scenes during the play. ( the crowed was enjoying every moment of it lol )

Now, even though Alphonso is very young he is full of spirit, positive energy & very talented at all the things he does to keep a smile on peoples faces. In moments like this paterson, New Jersey must keep their eyes on more positive young people such as the gentleman Alphonso Gee who gives his city something positive and entertaining to look forward to. I myself will be keeping an eye out on this young man because he is the future and he is doing what he is suppose to be doing right now to insure he becomes something bigger in the future.

spread Peace always,

Joe V.



I have spent a year and some change to figure out or should I say to dip into several things of artistic crafts and I have come to realize that I have been running away from what I love most. Broadcasting the truth and speaking to people about things that are not just relevant but what matters to the people is important to me. The voice of the people matters especially when all they have is social networks because some people are either afraid or scared to speak on what’s on their mind for more than 140 characters. My main objective is to be a broadcast journalist documenting everything of importance to me and those I see fit that has something that needs to be heard to the people in our generation and many generations after. Journalism is a art form of living a help freeing people’s minds by allowing them to think for themselves while speaking how they feel about what’s going on in our world. I am here to help take journalism to the next level and just give people good vibes and realness whenever I am seen and speaking on this show and other platforms that I will touch. This is my calling, this is my passion, it took me awhile to figure that out even when I do have so many ideas. I have to hone one craft which will open the door for the rest of the god given gifts that I have. And her I stand at 23 years old, ready to help change the world one voice at a time…

– sincerely yours,

Joe V!

Positive Distraction: Imani O’blige Creator of Dirty Tuesday

Being a positive Distraction is upon many things that distract from the negative. When i chose to interview Imani Oblige it was because she took an idea of something in her everyday life and made it her own, coming from a negative city with so many negative surroundings she wanted to build something pure from the ground up the others could look forward too. I, myself being into fashion i wanted to get to know her a little bit on how and why she came about the brand and name ” Dirty Tuesday “. I admire those who create something out of nothing. So, with style and grace Imani Oblige breifly gives us some words of how she got started with her OWN online boutique store.


Four years ago we elected a human being who was fit for leading this country when it was in its darkest hours and lack of faith into what will be next for our country after having George Bush for a leader. Now, I’m not slandering George Bush because he has some positives in his run as president. Eight years of George Bush to mess up everything some people would say but to now have 8 years to clean up the mess with new and elected president Barack Obama there are many things we must do in order to maintain the changes that are necessary between the government and the citizens. WE ARE A TEAM, that’s why its the United Stated of America, the word UNITED should be into play as much as it is shown in our creed of U.S citizens. Barack Obama has made history twice now, being the first black president and being re-elected as a black president. My thoughts about him being our president once again is all in great thought and i am proud to him as our president again, not because he is black or African American. But for the fact that he is the perfect person, human being for the job of being our nations leader. Being black is and will also be an issue and a gift because ethic background is highly looked at since the 50’s and if those people could see this now they would be shocked and i always wondered what Martin Luther King and Malcolm X would be saying or thinking when this day had came. So many people believe in this president so much and people in the past who have had an impact on this nation have foreseen this as well, telling people that a black or African American will be president. Me as a young 22 year old witnessing this in my time gives me full confidence that whatever i want to do with my life i can make it happen because Barack Obama did and not just that but the fact that he did it his way. I believe and it is a known fact that  President Obama has been the most necessary president of our time, he has done more than become a president.