America’s Got Talent and a New Generation of Forgotten Children

I just breezed through internet posts about Jackie Evancho, the 10-year old girl who sang Tuesday night on America’s Got Talent and who, on Wednesday, was the most-searched person on Google.  Seems the little girl has everything:  an amazing talent, beauty, poise, and a fairytale family.  In a taped intro clip that aired before she sang, Ms. Evancho beamed and said, “”I have two brothers and one sister, a big garden and we have ducks in it. It’s so much fun!”  No wonder she beamed.

I wish the young lady the best, although she doesn’t need our collective good wishes.  She already has more gifts than most of us will have in a lifetime.  I don’t know to what extremes Ms. Evancho’s family went to advance her celebrity, but I have a hunch it was substantial.  Before you accuse me of being jealous, let me say that every time I hear about a young person whose family devotes themselves to making their child a star, I shudder.   My first thoughts go to the countless children for whom getting through the day is an accomplishment, and one that won’t be rewarded with standing ovations and concert tours.

According to a report released in December, 2009 (AFCARS:  Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System Report), there were approximately 463,000 children in foster care as of September 30, 2008.  The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) reported that 772,000 children were found to be victims of child abuse or neglect in 2008.

Nobody said life was fair, but this disparity is egregious.  So I hold my applause for the children who would have succeeded despite the adulation of an admiring public, and I send my thoughts and prayers to the forgotten children.


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