Wily’s Summer Read

In the summer of 2020 we held our first virtual event, Wily’s Summer Read, to help the Wily community connect through the shared experience of a great story.

We knew that the perfect read would offer illuminating perspectives to challenge and inform us, and provide new tools and ideas to the Wily Network. Steve Pemberton’s book, A Chance in the World, did all that and more. This frank and moving memoir chronicles Steve’s experiences of loss, adversity, hope and hard-won successes. Judi Alperin King noted that Steve’s book was a shaping influence on the Wily Network in its earliest days.

Pemberton, who is the Chief Human Resources Officer at WorkHuman and a Wily advisory council member, joined Carmen Ortiz-McGhee, Executive Vice President of NAIC, Wily Scholar J’Saun, and Wily’s Executive Director Judi Alperin King for a virtual discussion on July 27, 2020, about his book and the subject of empathy: what makes it authentic, how it impacts us, and how we can cultivate authentic empathy in our lives.

[Steve] is a model to students like myself and other Wily Scholars that constantly go through similar obstacles. From his early childhood all the way to his adult years, he fought to be where he is now.

J'Saun, Wily Scholar, BC '21

I think we often underestimate the importance of even just one adult in a young person’s life that cares, and that provides them some structure and some stability and a safe place.

Carmen Ortiz McGhee, Executive Vice President of NAIC

The people who have impacted my life, whether it was the maintenance crew or the high school teacher that took me in, they were lighthouses. In the middle of a storm, sometimes you just want to be quiet and navigate it as best you can without a lot of light on you. But the lighthouse really doesn’t give you that option. The lighthouse sees the storm that you’re in, but also sees the way through it. It knows where the shores are and knows where the stormiest waters are.

People are lighthouses, they really are. The Wily Network is a lighthouse.

Steve Pemberton, author and Wily Advisory Council member

Watch their conversation

Get the book

We were pleased to partner with Boston’s Frugal Bookstore, the city’s only Black-owned bookstore, for Wily’s Summer Read. A Chance in the World is available for purchase at the Frugal Bookstore in Roxbury.

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