Momentous Institute executive director Michelle Kinder. (Courtesy photo)
It’s weird to sit in the Ritz-Carlton ballroom crying into your coffee in front of 320 other guests, unless you’re at a Momentous Institute event, listening to devastating stories of children who walk the bright halls of Momentous and go home, often to darkness and difficulties.
The story of a child’s abuse that Michelle Kinder, the executive director of the institute, told at the Changing the Odds dinner on Sept. 27 was difficult to listen to. The 7-year-old, struggling in school and benefiting from therapy sessions at Momentous, had been systematically traumatized and subsequently abandoned.
It’s not always like that. Many children at the Oak Cliff lab school run by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas have stable lives and loving homes. But 85 percent of Momentous students qualify for free lunches; many grapple with the struggles and smaller traumas of poverty, violence, and hunger.