And one way to do so is to hold conferences like these that, frankly, give me a chance and a platform to speak to the country and say as clearly as I can, we welcome the army of compassion. We understand the power of faith in America, and the federal government will assist -- not discriminate against you.

There is no better way to clarify for our fellow citizens the power of faith-based programs and to speak about examples, to hold up stories about lives who have been changed, starting with Veronica Braewell.

I just met with Veronica. The folks I told you were at the roundtable met with Veronica. Veronica is -- was from Liberia. She's a refugee. She was telling us what it's like to see the violence and horror that took place in that country as rebel groups swept through the land, taking lives if they just felt like it. And this young lady clearly has got a large heart and deep concern for her fellow citizens. She came, and the Catholic Social Agency in Allentown, Pennsylvania -- a faith-based group, by the way -- took her and her family into their collective bosom and loved them. And they helped her find jobs and a place to live and clothing and transportation.

You can imagine what it would be like to be a young girl coming from Liberia, having been traumatized by violence, to a strange country. Fortunately, her arrival was aided by people who said, gosh, what can I do to help change somebody's life and to help them? She's just completed her training to be a nursing assistant. Soon, she'll start work at a senior care facility near her home. She said this, "It's like a second hope again. I believe in myself, I am grateful to God." Thanks to the Catholic Social Agency in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a soul has been lifted.

Elijah Anyieth is with us. He was born in a rural village in Sudan. He fled as a young man when his village was bombed, and he just wandered -- talked about sleeping on the ground, looking for food. Fortunately, the Commonwealth Catholic Charities helped rescue him and he found a home near Richmond, Virginia. With the help of the program, he graduated from high school, with honors. Last month, he finished his first year of college. He's studying to be a mechanical engineer. Here's what he said, "When I imagine my life now and how it would have been, I can't find ways to thank them enough" -- he's talking about the Commonwealth Catholic Charities staff. See, the faith-based program helped save this guy's life, and helped him have a bright future.

I met Derrill Frazier. He should be up here, not me. Needless to say, when his story is -- he's a young guy, he's never seen his mom, or rarely sees him mom, never met his dad -- who is in prison, serving a lifetime in prison. By the way, his grandmother, Constance Morgan, brought him here today. It was my honor to meet Constance. You know what she told me? She said, "Mr. President, I pray for you."

Derrill joined the U.S. Dream Academy. It's a mentorship program funded by the Health and Human Services. See, Health and Human Services is now funding a faith-based program that encourages mentors, people to interface in the lives of a fellow like Derrill, who wonders whether there's any hope for him. He plays basketball and he talks about his favorite subject -- this is with his mentor -- U.S. history. I kind of liked U.S. history, too.

Here's what he said. "I don't sit around just watching TV anymore. I like school. If I don't go to school, I can't reach my goals -- to go to college and become a lawyer." See, here's a fellow who all of the sudden has got a goal. He's been inspired by something government really can't provide, which is a loving person to interface with him in a way that helps change his life.

The grant came out of the federal government to help fund this mentoring program. It is money well spent. The taxpayers of the country must understand that we should not focus on the process; we ought to focus on the results.

Let me tell you about this story. It is a success story because of a faith-based program. Brad Lassiter -- he's the youngest of 17 children. He spent most of his childhood without a home. His education ended in the 4th grade -- essentially, he was abandoned and lived on the street -- got addicted to drugs, took a bullet in the mouth, actually, at one point in his life, went to prison. And Gospel Rescue Ministries gave him a place to live when he came out of prison. See, he started reading the bible in prison. It is a powerful change agent when you start reading the bible in prison. And this guy was lost, and now he's found.

He said this -- here's what Brad said -- Brad said, "God blessed me. The Mission gave me an opportunity to change my life spiritually, education-wise, and to build character. They made me want to change." Actually, they were the agents -- Brad, they were just the messenger. When he finished his recovery -- I want you to hear the story, this is a guy abandoned on the streets, drug addict, couldn't read beyond the third grade -- he now has a job at the World Bank, and he's going to college to study computer science. America -- America changes one heart at a time, one soul at a time. And while our fellow citizens can't do everything, they can do something to help change America one soul at a time.

That's the philosophy behind the faith-based groups. It is the government's strong desire to empower this fabric, this social fabric of our society where faith-based programs large and small feel empowered, encouraged, and welcomed into changing lives.

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