My name is Paul Bowers, and I’m a student at the University of South Carolina.
I’m not sure what qualifies a person to do this sort of thing, but I have been involved in reporting the news for a few years now. I’ve written for the (Charleston, SC) Post and Courier, the (University of South Carolina) Daily Gamecock, and the (New York) Times.
Growing up in the suburbs, I didn’t see a lot of poverty. Since moving to the city, I’ve been unable to ignore it. Try this: The next time a guy asks you for money, tell him you’d like to buy him a meal. Go to a restaurant, sit down, and get to know him. Learn his story. If you listen — and I mean really listen — it will change your life.