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A Wish Is Granted, Then Hope

The Early Show first met the Chaz during our Week of Wishes. La-Shawn and Keefe Clark had dreams of sending their kids to college one day. But with Keefe Clark being gone, La-Shawn was not sure how to fulfill their needs.
CBS/The Early Show
During our Week of Wishes, La-Shawn Clark and her son Chaz were touched by the kindness of the United Negro Fund which surprised them with a scholarship. It was a bit of relief from their great burden after the loss of husband and devoted father.

The family visits The Early Show again to share how the year has been for them and how they plan to commemorate the day their lives changed forever.

On Sept 11, 2001, Chaz Clark watched from Stuyvesant High school as the towers collapsed, knowing his dad, an executive chef, was probably in one. Chaz is one of five children and since the event, he has been the emotional backbone of the family.

The Early Show first met the Chaz during our Week of Wishes. La-Shawn and Keefe Clark had dreams of sending their kids to college one day. But with Keefe Clark being gone, La-Shawn was not sure how to fulfill their needs. So she wrote a letter to us.

As a result, Chaz got a gift from William H. Gray III, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund. Today, Chaz is a freshman at Morehouse in Atlanta.

An A student, Chaz graduated from high school with honors and soon after received a letter from President Bill Clinton who had been the guest speaker.

"He said he was sorry he didn't get to me after graduation, and that he could relate to my loss because his father died in a car accident when he was young. I got the card in the mail in a presidential envelope," says Chaz.

Out of all the money raised through charities, his mom has received about $17,000. The family is struggling to make ends meet.

Says La-Shawn Clark, "I put myself on a budget to make sure the bills have been paid and the kids have something. Windows of Hope is the only charity that has stepped up and provided for me and the kids. They are giving medical insurance for five years; financial advice to help us get my credit back on track, and any extra needs for the kids. Keefe's old company dismissed our family needs after two months. Those needs included medical insurance for six."

La-Shawn Clark says she is still trying to cope with the loss. She has yet to find a new job and is presently in court fighting her landlord to stay in her home.

"I should have been out of the home since Aug. 31. I'm looking for a home for me and the kids. I'm hoping to find something before the end of September or before Thanksgiving," she says.

As for the anniversary of the attack, La-Shawn Clark is planning on having the family come together for prayer and may attend some of the ceremonies she has been invited to. But she says she does "not want to go down to ground zero. I feel that going down to the site represents death and separation and Keefe was so full of life. He's alive in my heart."