“I think I would have been unemployed and have a tough time. It would have been a tough task. Without Glen Mills, it would have been rough,” former Glen Mills student Leonard Brown, Jr. said.
Instead, he was able to use the many skills, both tangible and intangible, that he learned as a young man at the school and is currently the Business Agent for the Municipal Workers Union Local 403 in Philadelphia.
“I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Brown said about his Glen Mills experience that began in January of 1991. “I’m very successful today because of Glen Mills.”
Brown was raised by a single mother in a good household in the Tioga section of North Philadelphia but without a male figure in his life, he said he encountered some trouble as a teen, “…and got into some things I’m not proud of.”
He also said he was expelled from the School District of Philadelphia. Enter the Glen Mills Schools- after he arrived on campus in a sheriff’s van in handcuffs.
“Glen Mills saved my life,” Brown, whose father died when he was young, made very clear. “They showed me love that I didn’t expect…For them to show the compassion they did meant a lot.”
Brown’s relationship and belief in the school continues to this day as he regularly touches base with the men who helped him become who he is today.
“What they (Glen Mills) bring me now is love. They still call and see how I’m doing.”
The relationship goes even deeper and in fact, when some of his younger male relatives needed a school to provide more direction in their lives, he wanted them to have the opportunity to attend Glen Mills- which they did.
“That speaks volumes,” Brown said. “I didn’t even think twice about it.”
Brown summed up his feelings about the school that came into his life when he needed it most.
“It’s a great school. I will always advocate for Glen Mills,” the grateful and passionate Brown said.