As they begin to chart their own paths to success, Glen Mills students had the opportunity to hear about the life experiences of some proud and passionate alums during a recent Bulls For Life panel discussion. The October 26th event was part of the Character and Leadership Development Program.
The well-received, and at times humorous and emotional event, was just one of many highlights during Homecoming 2018, which included a pep rally, campus tours, a cookout, student skits, alumni recognition, and a Battling Bulls football game.
Proud alums Akili Suhuba Baruti, Leonard Brown, Stefan Curtis, Frank Schultz, Tony Downing, Jose LaTorre, Ray Romprey, and Gary McCall shared part of their stories that have enabled them to live happy and productive lives. To a man, they all gave great advice to the students.
“You can be successful and do well,” Schultz said as he responded to a young man who was doubting his own future. “If we (the gentlemen on the panel) can do it, you can as well if you set your mind to it.”
Downing, who was one of the leaders of the Bulls Club when it was in its infancy, talked about his experiences and challenged the students to choose a positive path as they move their lives forward.
“Prison is a nightmare. The only way out of a nightmare is to wake up. So wake up,” Downing urged the young men.
Bull For Life Ray Romprey flew from California to be at Homecoming and to be on the panel.
“You have to transform your mind,” Romprey told the students.
A welder by trade, he helped build Levis Stadium (home of the San Francisco 49ers) and is proud to say that he wakes up at 4:30 in the morning to put his work boots on.
“I learned how to work with my hands in the Automotive Technology Center at Glen Mills,” Romprey, who is also a pastor, said as he reflected on his positive experiences at Glen Mills.
The collective message resonated with the students.
“That was very informative,” Glen Mills student Noah Bourque said. “Hearing what has helped them in their lives was definitely interesting and I think we can learn from it.”
“That was very powerful,” Glen Mills student Jossue Peralta-Martinez added. “Hearing their stories and successes, and also how they overcame their struggles, is inspiring.” Brown, who is now a business agent for the Municipal Workers Union- AFL-CIO Local 403 in Philadelphia, wants the young men to recognize a big point. “Realize that you are somebody,” Brown shared. “I was told that every day while I was a student at Glen Mills.” The passionate Brown summed up the panelists’ feelings about the school.
“I am proud to say I am from Glen Mills,” Brown said. “That’s one of the great things about Glen Mills and the Bulls For Life Club- we always try to help each other out and I hope that what we did here today has a positive impact on these guys.”
Thank You Bulls For Life- It Was Great To Have You Back on Campus!