“Knowledge is power.”
Coach Darrell Andrews, a passionate certified speaking professional, recently delivered a spot on and powerful presentation to Glen Mills students in conjunction with the school’s Character and Leadership Development Program.
One of “Coach D’s” main points was that the past does not have to have to stymie your future.
“I was counted out at a young age,” the Syracuse, New York native said.
Raised by a single mother and the welfare system, Andrews’ father left the family when he was just one month old. He also lost four cousins before they reached 18.
“But I wanted to do something with my life,” Andrews, said. “In the neighborhood I grew up in, I wasn’t supposed to do anything. But I had a dream.”
That dream centered around education, which he learned the importance of from his mother. She had only an 8th grade education but wanted to role model the importance of going to school to her kids. She went back to school and became the first high school graduate in the family. She went on to work in the airline industry and made a good living for her family.
Andrews took his mother’s lead one step further.
“I became a first-generation college graduate because of her example,” Andrews said. “The bottom line is knowledge is power.”
His path to becoming a college graduate is extraordinary. After leaving Wagner College after one year, he showed up at Cheyney University, outside of Philadelphia, with pretty much all that he owned in five garbage bags. He also showed up on campus without enrolling, and without any money. However, he made so much of an impression on the people at the school that they offered him a scholarship. Four years later, he was a proud graduate. His story, “Five Garbage Bags and A Dream,” was featured in “Chicken Soup for the African American Soul.”
Andrews, a truly dynamic speaker, also stressed that it pays to have character and you need to recognize that the people you hang out with have a huge influence in your life.
Coach D’s message resonated with the Glen Mills students because he has overcome much adversity in his life. He made it against long odds.
“He was very inspirational and is a dynamic speaker,” Try Blamo said. “I really connected with his message.”
Coach D enjoyed his speaking engagement at Glen Mills.
“This was fantastic,” Andrews concluded.