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Some stories are captivating because of what someone has done, others because of what someone may become.

In February, Leo Burnett Toronto created an awareness campaign for homeless youth. Potential was their rallying cry. The potential in a potato, in curb-side furniture and in a withered house plant. “If you can see potential in an abandoned chair, why not a homeless youth?”

No offence to the typical hobo, but a homeless youth commands more attention, and inspires more imagination, because their story has just begun. Despite their miserable condition, they have chapters yet to be written, chapters that may be the pieces to a great novel. Or they could just be a future hobo – depending on the help we give.

Their story stays with us, because it ends in our lap. We have authorship of the ending and the freedom to define the finale. A child’s future is latent with beauty, no matter how filthy their face. You can’t screw up potential because it hasn’t happened yet.

Sometimes the most telling part of a story is the story untold.