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Program Gives Local At-Risk Minority Boys A View of Successful Lives

(Credit: Michelle Durham)

(Credit: Michelle Durham)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A unique event at National Constitution Center in Philadelphia today was showing local African-American and Latino teens “What It Takes” to succeed.

Officials from the What It Takes Foundation have gathered the area’s most successful professionals to help put 200 students on the same path to success.

“They are going to see people who have worked hard, who have been in their shoes, and they going to be able to identify with those folks and see how far they went with hard work,” says Dr. Brod Boxley, with the foundation (far right in photo below).

And advice they will receive: from Phillies’ first baseman Ryan Howard, from Smith-Barney senior vice president Ted Reid, from Grammy-winning music producer the Rev. Carvin Haggins, and so many more.

“I think it’s a good thing for us because we can get into higher goals in life,” says Brendan Colteste (far left in photo below), who attends Boys’ Latin, a charter school in Philadelphia.

what it takes 4 Program Gives Local At Risk Minority Boys A View of Successful Lives

(“What It Takes” attendees Brendan Colteste, Ben Coulibaly, and Shaka Toney pose with foundation official and educator Dr. Broderick Boxley. Credit: Michelle Durham)

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Ben Coulibaly (second from left), a senior at Boys’ Latin, says he was excited to hear the speakers.  But he is already a self-starter whose hard work in the classroom and on the football field has been recognized by several colleges trying to recruit him.

“It’s your life,” advises Coulibaly. “You need that ambition, you need that drive, and nobody is going to give you anything in this world.  You need the drive, you need the ambition, and don’t let anybody tell you you can’t.  Because I’ve had people my whole life tell me I can’t, and here I am proving that I can.”

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