Jack Markell, who served the state of Delaware from 2009 to 2017 as their Governor, recently spoke at the Glen Mills Schools as part of the continuing Character and Leadership Development Program.
A Delaware native with degrees from Brown University and the University of Chicago, former Governor Markell also served three terms as the Delaware State Treasurer after being a successful businessman. The Democrat was excited to speak at the Glen Mills Schools after visiting 15 years ago and clearly remembers the experience.
“It’s good to be back at the Glen Mills Schools,” former Governor Markell said. “I was here years ago and was very impressed with the longevity of the commitment of the staff members and Board of Managers…they really care about their students.”
Frank Albero, who serves on the Board at Glen Mills, was excited to have his long time friend speak at Glen Mills.
“He’s always been interested in causes that help youth,” Albero said.
That was evident in the hour-long event, which ended with a question and answer period with the students. His commitment to youth extends to his family as well as they continue to inspire young people. He told the story of how instead of having a grand inaugural ball during the economic downturn after he was first elected, he and his family decided to have a week of service involving young men and women. After the successful event, many of the young people actively involved expressed their gratitude and shared how rewarding it felt to help others.
Former Governor Markell also told the story about his wife’s challenging childhood. After he was elected, a reporter did a story about her that included her difficult upbringing, including having to bounce around to many different homes because of her unstable family. Ultimately, surrounding herself with good friends helped her stabilize her home life and she eventually became the First Lady of Delaware.
While visiting a middle school in Harrington, Delaware after that article was published, an 8th grader came to him and said that she read with great interest the story about his wife.
“That is my life now,” she told him. “Because your wife now has a different kind of life, I know that I can too.”
He sees the challenges facing the country and its young people and recognizes that, “…the American Dream is not alive and well for a lot of people in this country.”
The former Governor, who talked about the importance of being humble, delivered some great advice to the students.
A big part of success is being a good listener,” he said said. “When I was in office, I recognized that I didn’t always have the answers but I would always ask others for their advice…That’s why we have two ears and one mouth.”
Glen Mills student Alontay Carter summed up former Governor Markell’s address.
“He had a very good message,” Carter said. “He’s inspiring and you can tell that he really cares about trying to help others.”