By Quan’Tarion Jackson
Battling Bulletin Student Writer
As part of the continuing Character and Leadership Development Program, students had an up close experience with Dr. Eugene Richardson, a member of the famed WWII era African American group of pilots. Dr. Richardson’s appearance also coincided with Black History Month.
The veteran centered his presentation on perseverance and prior to his visit, the student body had a chance to watch “Red Tails,” a movie that chronicles the Tuskegee Airmen and their heroic efforts in WWII.
As a boy, Dr. Richardson grew extremely interested in flying after his father took him to see the Colored Air Circus. He decided to join the Army as a pilot at the age of 17 and finished his training in March of 1945. Shortly afterwards, the war ended so Richardson was never able to put his skills to use in combat.
Responding to a question from the student body, one of Dr. Richardson’s most memorable moments as a pilot was when he was able to safely make an emergency landing immediately after takeoff when an overheated engine had lost all of its oil.
During his address, Dr. Richardson said that in order to be successful, young men need several things.
“As well as the A’s and the B’s, you need your three D’s,” Dr. Richardson said. He explained to the audience that they are Dreams, Desire, and Discipline.
Dr. Richardson, a Temple University graduate, earned his Masters and D.Ed degrees from Penn State. He served as a principal in the Philadelphia School District for many years and now regularly visits schools to share the great history of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Dr. Richardson was also impressed with the Glen Mills student body.
“I am very impressed with the decorum of the students here at Glen Mills,” Dr. Richardson said.
Dr. Richardson received a certificate of recognition for his Glen Mills visit and the Bulls Club presented him with a school t-shirt and hat. He also received a long standing ovation from the Glen Mills student body and faculty.