February 8th, 2010
08:57 PM ET

Making a Difference

Principal Steve Perry's school, Capital Prep, sends 100 percent of its graduates to college.  Part of what makes the school so successful:  the high expectations to which Dr. Perry and his faculty hold their students.  Another part:  the love - sometimes, tough love - that students get at Capital Prep.

The interview that we show you on Tuesday as part of our Black History Month coverage is an excellent example of how someone can make a positive difference in his community.  Are there people you know who've inspired others in your neighborhood or city?  Tell us what they've done and how they've done it.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Feedback
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. rhea

    there is a teacher in our school who inspired many kids in our school to help many other children. she and a friend started a program. the kids and teachers who signed up get 10 inches of their hair cut to donate to children who are diagnosed with cancer and have lost their hair because of all the treatments and medicine. this teacher inspired many peoples to help a worthy cause. she is a role model in our community

    February 8, 2010 at 9:40 pm |
  2. Sammy


    February 8, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
  3. Natalie

    Most of my teachers have influanced and inspired me and most of my community beacause the teachers in my school district are awesome at doing that by incouarging us almost like Dr. Perry with love AND critisim.

    February 8, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
  4. TJ

    I believe that my teacher, Mr. Lance, makes the biggest difference in my community because he takes time out of class each day to show us the latest CNN student news program. He is having a huge impact on our community because he is exposing us to CNN, and in doing so exposing us to the world. Our classes hold the future citizens of our community, and the community will be an informed one because of Mr. Lance.

    February 8, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
  5. Katherine

    I don't think anyone really heard of her in the neighborhood but for me she is very important and the one I think will always show respect to. My aunt is the one who I inspire, not because she's my aunt but the things she does to help the environment shows a lot. She tries to plant trees and by doing that it can help us and the world. Not only planting trees but she tries to recycle, reduce, and reuse if necessary. The little things she does can be a big help. If everyone care a little to the environment it can make a big difference.

    February 9, 2010 at 1:40 am |
  6. Mrs. D

    Three cheers to Dr. Perry and his outstanding attitude towards having high expecations for students! Too many teachers don't hold students accountable for their actions and do not expect students to perform well causing them to develop a negative attitude towards education and success in general. If teachers hold high expectations and expect students to rise to them coupled with a positive teacher/student relationship of caring, then most of the the time students will perform to those expecations. Dr. Perry should take his model school philosophy cross-country so more districts can establish such a remarkable educational system to improve our global ranking.

    February 9, 2010 at 7:49 am |
  7. josh

    I believe that teachers at least acting like they care can help some kids so much ... its amazing to see and hear about something like that when parents have enough on their plate already

    February 9, 2010 at 7:58 am |
  8. Shemar

    I believe that it is awesome what great success this school has with its graduates and I also agree with everyone needing Tough Love! This is a great motivation for students knowing that we have someone to believe in us and help us along our journey.

    February 9, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  9. victoria

    that is very cool i would love it if that kinda stuff happened in [my town] but 1oo% that is amazing

    February 9, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  10. Curtis

    That is coool

    February 9, 2010 at 9:47 am |
  11. Joshua

    I don't know any one who has told me that someone has inspired them. I know that in general a lot of people have been inspired by president Barrack Obama. Since he is the first African American president it makes people feel that they are more powerful than they were before.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:48 am |
  12. Anthony

    The person who has helped our community most is Mrs. K. She is our representative, and she sets up things for the environment, for Haiti, and for the economy. She is amazing, and she always looks out for our small town.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  13. Christine

    Even if he or she is not a contemporary person or neighborhood,and just a kind of historical person, someone can inspire dthers.
    King Seajong is kind of that person. He was the one of the famous Korean kings in the past. He created Korean written language. Before he created,Korean used just Chinese. He made an effort to make 'our own written language'.Then he succeed to creat written language and now we use it.He inspired me,and may be all Korean.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  14. Raveena

    They have inspired other people to help out.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  15. Sheryl

    There are many people who make a difference, but one person that i definetely know is my friend Jennifer! She goes to all these countries and help people and children with their needs! I think she is a great role model to follow!

    February 9, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  16. Cindy

    I know alot of people who inspired otther people. A lot of them are teachers. Teachers who really enjoy their job and love their jobs can inspire students. they can open so many new doors for the students

    February 9, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  17. michelle

    my aunt has done alot to help her community. Her work clossed down . she could have been looking for jobs but instead she spent some of her time volunteering at a place, they give used clothing and toys to children who's families cant afford it.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  18. Abby

    Well there is my cousin they would always help people who were in need. For example if someone had something going on with there family They would help them get through the situation.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  19. karina

    I don't really have someone in my neighborhood that did something very important but if they did it would be really great

    February 9, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  20. Rachel

    My brother has made a big and inspireing impact on my life. He has taught me valuable life skills. He also has taught me how to handle different situations. He is nice to everyone and makews everyone smile.

    February 9, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  21. Ashley

    I think it is good that tthe teachers push the students so much that they pass college because some people need more support than others.

    February 9, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  22. kegan

    Hay carl love your show!!! I think that my teacher has helped me and countless others over the passed two years. she has inspired me to do my best in school and is like a secound mother to me.

    February 9, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  23. JAVI

    I'm not sure of anyone.

    February 9, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  24. howard

    i dont knew anyone

    February 9, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  25. billy

    ronald mc Donald cause he always helps out my hungrier and the hospital when he helps out the kids so thats who i think is cool

    February 9, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  26. desiree`

    ...... someone who inspires me is my geometry teacher he helps me the most even when im having a bad day he always turns my frown upside down and thats who inspires me the most......

    February 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  27. Courtneay

    In reality, Teachers,police,firefighters,and volunteers make a difference no matter what all around the world,But i think in a community those people matter and then some. Single moms,,the sales clerk at the grocery store,the gardeners, and the children all make a difference and contribute in some way. Those kinds of people go unnoticed most the time but they deserve the same respect and thank you. Those kinds of small things in life are what make america the wonderful place it is. So this comment goes to all the people in the world thank you.

    February 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  28. will

    i think they should let the kids be more active and give them a break some time but tuff love is great

    February 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  29. cody

    I think that the kids probably learn more but, they should have summer off instead of going to school during it. They probably get bored of school and don't pay very good attention since they go year round.

    February 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  30. Spencer

    I think its a good idea, that school is sending 100% of there student's are graduating. Most schools only dream of being in the the 90's, if thats working thats what we should do. Students may not like it at first, but they'll warm up to it. I like the idea, even though I would'nt wan't to go to school all year round. If it work's we should use it.

    February 9, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  31. dale

    the school dosent look that cool

    February 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  32. Glenn

    People who inspired my school is the staff and facilty members. Like Capital Prep, our school's educated students try to give all they got. Our staff members give education to the school's students.

    February 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  33. ranee

    well..yes for me, i had a super nice teacher she had never yelled at me before! She had always told me to be an bright girl,then right there i took her words and it completely change who i am:) I started focusing in class and thinking about gaols:)

    February 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  34. Lindsey

    In my community, a math teacher is guiding me and five other [students] in our school in a program. In this program, a group of kids like us come together to try to stop a problem. In our case, we are trying to raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving. Though we have not presented our idea yet, we are leaning towards getting on the high school show and presenting the dangers of texting while driving there. Keep it up the good work!

    February 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  35. jack

    i think this is a right thing to do

    also i go to school

    February 9, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  36. Zach


    February 9, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  37. jordan

    I look up to our army because they are doing a good job against iraq.

    February 9, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  38. Robert

    Yes, My Neighbor does when theres a two hour delay they let me stay at there house till schools starts

    February 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  39. alexandra

    There is one person in my neigborhood that always brings us presents on hard times.Also on holidays.

    February 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  40. Connor

    I'm not sure if anyone I no inspired but i sure herd some people how inspired over the radio.

    February 9, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  41. Fallyn

    My neighbor makes a differrence in my life. She takes care of my house when we are away.

    February 9, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  42. Mary

    Many teachers have been influential to me. But my dad has been the most influential person in my life. I think the people you spend the most time with leave the biggest impression.

    February 9, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  43. Michelle


    February 9, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  44. Angelica

    My mom has inspired others. She's inspired people to take care of themselves.

    February 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  45. shelisa

    some people that inspired me is the kids that did locks of love because they donnated their hair to help someone else.

    February 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  46. Maurice

    The people in my community aren't doing anything. It's kinda' sad but thats the way it is.

    February 9, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  47. shy

    i dont know ony one or any body

    February 9, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  48. aaron

    who makes a difference to me, my community, and around them, my cousin does many things, when he sees something going on, he helps

    February 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  49. mathew

    Jeff F. is hero for getting payed to help teens become better people. He works at my group home as a supervisor.

    February 9, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  50. michelle

    i think that Beyonce is making a difference to this community, because she has a beautiful voice and she had send 1,000 dollars to haiti. that is why she is a good person to this community.

    February 9, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  51. Venton

    I have a neighbor who volunteers. He helps kids in need and is going to be going on a mission trip to Haiti. He is a person I look up to.

    February 9, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  52. Carlton

    all people are crazy

    February 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  53. Brett

    Last winter, my dad was in hospice and my mom stayed. So our friends let us stay at there house all winter. They helped us out all that time. They also through a sort of party for us at a golf couse and made it a lot of fun. They are a very nice family.

    February 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  54. kylee

    I think it is asome that he is tring to make a difrence for students. Like our teacher mrs.wahlstrom.

    February 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  55. joe

    its very imortant

    February 9, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  56. -micheal

    teachers always inspire us to do more than what we are doing

    February 9, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  57. Alissa

    For me kids scream down the hallways for switching classes and I don't have time for that.People just need to grab there books for what they need for the next class,don't be distracted from going to your next class it's very important from going to your next class cause we only have 5 minutes and the that we have is kinda like 5 seconds you to go to your locker go to the bathroom then head to your class its not that hard.You can see your friends later but education is more important.

    February 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  58. christina

    my teacher mrs.david, is making a huge difference.some kids misbehaved yesterday and she is showing "tough love". i think that is the best way to show someone you care.she is showing my classmates the best lesson and that is "kindness" :}

    February 9, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  59. jack

    To me the most insperational thing was the floating rocket train

    February 9, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  60. Emily

    My gymnastics coach, Kim, is an inspiration to everyone around her. She has created a gym for young girls and boys to learn discipline, hard work, and determination through gymnastics. As a former gymnast, she has taken something she is extremely passionate about and turned it into a way to teach kids and teens important life lessons. She's one of those people who changes your life by just being apart of it.

    February 9, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
  61. Tanmyaa

    I like the way Dr. Steve Perry is teaching the kids to be successful. Also, I like how he said that no one can fail. That makes us kids feel like that we are smart and not left out of the crowd.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
  62. Michaela

    I have very many people in my life that make a big difference on who I am as a person and what I do. They are great influences and I look up to them as who I want to be when I grow up. Personally I respect Dr. Perry because he is making an effort to change these kids lives unlike other people who do not care about education. If more people in the world were like him I believe that the rate of kids that graduate High School and go to college would go up and the ones that don't graduate and go to college would just be a slim amount.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
  63. jackie

    there is a teacher in our school who inspired many kids in our school to help many other children. she and a friend started a program. the kids and teachers who signed up get 10 inches of their hair cut to donate to children who are diagnosed with cancer and have lost their hair because of all the treatments and medicine. this teacher inspired many peoples to help a worthy cause. she is a role model in our community

    February 10, 2010 at 1:36 am |
  64. Hayden

    I think Ms. Gayer is making a difference in our history class because she makes sure we see CNN student news almost everyday. Us students always stay up-to-date on the latest news and jokes. We can take what we learn in that class and use it in the rest of the world. Thank you Ms. Gayer and thank you CNN!

    February 10, 2010 at 1:47 am |
  65. jackie

    there is a teacher in our school who inspired many kids in our school to help many other children. she and a friend started a program. the kids and teachers who signed up get 10 inches of their hair cut to donate to children who are diagnosed with cancer and have lost their hair because of all the treatments and medicine. this teacher inspired many peoples to help a worthy cause. she is a role model in our community

    February 10, 2010 at 1:48 am |
  66. Krystina

    Well, to tell the truth, everyone has influenced someone in my neighborhood and city. One to another, we all help each other. Even though some may be a little tougher on one than another, we still help each other. Schools, businesses, and residential places in my city are a big part, too. They encourage you to go to school, then get a job when you can, and then soon enough you'll get your own home. They are like a mother's calming words saying that you can make it through.

    February 10, 2010 at 7:56 am |
  67. Courtneay

    In my honest opinion I wouldn't spend that much money on a piece of art. If it's important enough to be sold for that much it should be in a museum, or somewhere in can be preserved and properly taken care of,It is history and is important to share.

    February 10, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  68. Emily

    Art is an expression of feelings and emotions, it helps some people get through their day!!! What would I pay for an amazing piece of art work that I really wanted? Probably at least 4,000 to 5,000 dollars. As long is its a happy sculpture! 🙂

    February 10, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  69. Noah

    i would pay for alot of money for the work of art. It is one of a kind. And it is cool.

    February 10, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  70. Jaxson

    Man I don't think we need that long of school year because just a 8 month school year is enough and believe me I have my A's for it

    February 10, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
  71. alex

    I think that your weight has a lot to do with family influences and what your families eat. Weight issues are different for every person sometimes it is genetic and sometimes people are just lazy.

    February 11, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  72. alexis

    my pastors wife inspires me she does so much work.
    she has two buisnesses she has to run and she is very healthy because she only eats organic stuff. i want to be like her

    February 11, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  73. Tyler

    The people that inspired the people are the people of the soup kitchen in allendale. this is because they they make the people that don't have much as everyone. than they bring it to the people who need it the most. they also give the people hope and a reason to live.

    February 11, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  74. anonymous

    My best friends' brother had cancer twice. His doctor Denice helps kids like him everyday. She comes to his house and keeps him company. Another thing is that her brother-in-law died from the earthquake in Haiti but the rest of her family is fine. She is an amazing lady.(please dont put this on tv)

    February 11, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  75. anonymous

    I look up to my grandma. She had breast cancer last year and she stuck it out. I love her.

    February 11, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  76. Clint

    My mom runs a little league and stalks the concession stand with 100%
    (fruits and vegetables),to stop this child obesity spread.

    February 12, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  77. Kylie

    My old teacher always made learning fun and he used to make us smile all the time. He always inspired us to do our best and to Never Give Up (NGU)! He is now an Assistant Principal in an elementry school. 🙂

    February 12, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  78. Cain

    Our Shcool in Manteo North Carolina recycles evry bottle we see and use. And we save Paper we have big recycle bins and theres a bunch of paper allways there.

    February 12, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  79. Cain

    My friend Montrell he recycles evry thing he uses.

    February 12, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  80. Janel

    I think Mr.Loftus (our humanities 6-blue stoller teacher) is making a difference by letting us watch cnn student news evrey day! Thanks Mr.L!!!!!

    February 14, 2010 at 12:07 am |
  81. bailey

    Anyone can help make a difference and I know that if you are inspired enough, you can do whatever you want to do....I know a lot of people who are heros to me and I want to be just like that...I am inspired to be a better person and to help people...one step at a time!

    February 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  82. Nicole

    In reality, Teachers,police,firefighters,and volunteers make a difference no matter what all around the world,But i think in a community those people matter and then some. Single moms,,the sales clerk at the grocery store,the gardeners, and the children all make a difference and contribute in some way. Those kinds of people go unnoticed most the time but they deserve the same respect and thank you. Those kinds of small things in life are what make america the wonderful place it is. So this comment goes to all the people in the world thank you.

    February 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  83. delanie

    so many people say "make a difference" all of the time. the is no change. we need a change in this world but we need to start showing it. i think that everyone needs to take a part in one change.

    February 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  84. Jessica

    I think its my social studies teacher, because he exposes us to cnn everyday. I fwe didn't have cnn I wouldn't know what was going on in the world. I never bother to watch the regular news.

    February 19, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  85. sarah

    It seems easier every day to find something you can do to pitch in and help. Even school fundraisers can help! My band has an annual fundraiser and the money we make helps pay for more music, books, and even school- owned instruments. With all the help us americans need at the moment, i watch in awe as americans still go out of their way to help the people in haiti.

    February 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
  86. Kaylee

    There is a company that comes around to take clothes from people who don't want them and I think it inspired people in our neighborhood to donate! ...You should help!

    February 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  87. Jane

    Almost all my teachers at my school are inspiring to others and there always ready to helpme and my other peers.

    February 23, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
  88. Kylie

    I believe every person such as your friends, family, teachers, and anyone else in your life who encourages you to do good and helps you reach your goals are an inspiration and a person really making a difference!

    February 27, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  89. Grace

    A teacher at our school started the Civil Rights Team at our school. It's a group of students and teachers who work together to promote civil justice. Last year the same teacher also organized a student election. The students in our school decided which president they wanted to elect. It was almost like a real election, we even had to register.

    February 28, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
  90. Jake

    he stop puliting and global warming because scientists predict that the world might end in 30 years

    March 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  91. Kaly

    There are a couple people people in my school and out that has inspired me. There was a teacher who set up a donation...put it in our school every year... The teacher...does this for people who have cancer. She does a good deed.

    March 3, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  92. griffin

    I think that that is a major diffrence alot of parents cant pay for there kid to go to collage espcially if they had like 3 kids

    March 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  93. Mica

    My mom inspires me. When she was at the age where you go to college she lived in Argentina where a lot of girls did not go to college back then. But she moved my family to USA to give us a new start and she went back to college and became a teacher because that was her dream! She is such a great role model!

    March 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  94. taylor

    i make a difference in my town by volunteering at the hospital, it is a really great way to meet new people and also to help people!

    March 8, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
  95. Brittany

    hey teachers thats what there sopost to do but us students never take the time to appreciate them. we should have a couple days a year jast for teachers . the teachers here inspire us and sometimes it works. if more teachers cared about are outside lives then mabye the world would be better

    March 11, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  96. Nia

    Well my mom inspires me to be an piano player

    March 11, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
  97. Alex

    They are at a good school and if they are ecpected to do highly then they will know exactly what to do in college. If they aren't encouraged enough, most would drop out.

    March 12, 2010 at 12:34 am |
  98. rita

    my cousins are making such a huge difference in our community, because they are going to almost every house on our entire street, and ask if there are any food that they can donate. Because of that, they've had ice cream parties 4 yrs in a row! They're amazing, and i've always looked up to them!

    March 12, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  99. cora

    i think that my teacher,mr.b., makes a difference because how he teaches us,the students, he is teaching us about different things. but when it comes to the commuity/ world, i think that he does a ALOT more because the commuity/ world cant learn......it cant study for a test.......but it can pervide oxygen to us,the people of the commuity/ world!!!!:)

    March 12, 2010 at 6:58 pm |