From February 18th to the 21st I had the pleasure of attending the My Brother's Keeper Alliance Rising Conference in Oakland, California. What a privilege it was to be in the same room with John Legend, Stephen Curry, Michael B. Jordan, and the 44th president of the United States; Barack Obama.

It all seemed as if a dream, until I realized it was reality. In as little as three days, my life began to take on a new course. The experience was life-changing, and I wouldn’t trade the opportunity for anything else.

I was able to witness a group of intelligent, brave, outgoing, and compassionate young men being edified. My greatest joy was when I looked over and captured the priceless expression on my former students’ faces beside Chief Press. Police have not always played positive roles but the image of Chief Press with the students is a staunch reminder that there are good cops who defend, care, and advocate for their people.

Many of these young men had never been out of their hometown or Liberty City, let alone the state of Florida, let alone further, on an airplane. It was symbolic…these ten young men were on the runway to elevation.

Thank you to the Chief Press Foundation and the supporters that made this trip possible. It is one thing to meet people who are known for their great success, but to have someone who is willing to bring about success in others is incomparable.

Just as the sun sets on this conference, I know the sun will rise on our students' future as well.

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