Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day: May 8-14

May 11, 1942

“NEW YORK, Sunday…In a large part yesterday, I did personal things, but I talked for a little while with Miss Viola Ilma, of the Young Men’s Vocational Foundation. First we discussed the growing difficulty of raising funds to help boys coming out of reform schools to get jobs. Then we talked over the difficulties of their adjustment to the wartime atmosphere. Finally, we went over the fact that those who go into the Army, Navy and Marine Corps are happy and entirely content, missing only one thing—mail and packages from home.

So many reform school boys originally go wrong because of broken homes, or the death of parents, so it is not surprising to find that one boy in the Army writes to Miss Ilma: “I don’t get any mail, but sometimes the other boys let me read theirs, and that feels good.”

These boys with records cannot get into war industries. The records come up time after time when they are looking for jobs. Yet the only way to keep them from going back to the lives which put them into reform schools originally, is to get them jobs and keep them in them.”

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