Some of the honorees at the show included Houston Texans legend Andre Johnson, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Harris County Pct. 1 Constable Alan Rosen, Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Senior Pastor Dr. Marcus D. Cosby, and The Breakfast Klub owner Marcus Davis.
"I am confident, I am respectful, faithful and powerful, I am a leader!" the students chanted together from the school's stage.
"Breaking Out: Breaking the Chain, Breaking the Cycle" was the keynote performance from the group of young men in the Chauncy Glover Project. The play showcased each student's struggle in overcoming adversity and conquering their goals.
The project's namesake, ABC13 reporter and anchor Chauncy Glover, started the mentoring program three years ago while he was reporting in Detroit. Responding to an active scene to witness a young robbery suspect take his last breath, shot down in the street, Glover promised to return to the young man's school to mentor other students in danger of falling off life's slippery slope.
Upon landing in Houston, Glover brought the project to Wheatley High School, near the city's Fifth Ward. Through the hands-on, weekend mentoring program, each young man is assigned his own mentor, offering tutoring in public speaking, college readiness and even tips to dress for success.
"I take it seriously knowing the fact that those guys look for me and when my mentee calls for me, I'm there," said mentor Pierre Beasley, of the bond created with the young men.
The testimonies of the young men are the sort of stories that men twice their age experience. Corey Gordon, a former gang member, turned his life around with the help of the Chauncy Glover Project. Saa Fomba is a refugee from Africa who has worked to overcome the challenges of acclimating to a brand new country. He is heading off to Texas A&M for his freshman year of college.
Travin Robinson lost his mother to cancer on his birthday.
"It's sad I never got a chance to really know her," he said.
Now, with the help of the program, he's on the school's honor roll.
Then there's young men like Clarence Lewis. He watched his stepdad murder his mother and then turn on him with a skillet. Beaten so badly, Lewis had to learn how to walk and talk all over again. Fast forward to today, he has achieved a lot of personal growth and a successful student with a 4.2 grade point average. Lewis is headed off to the University of Virgina with one of the Chauncy Glover Project's scholarships.
"I know my mamma would be proud!" said Lewis.
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"The change that I've seen is that they're more gentlemen, they are more 'yes ma'am, no ma'am," said Wheatley Principal Dr. Shirley Rose. "In class they are responding, when they walk in the halls, they walk a different way."
Though each young man came into the program with a different struggle, they leave as brothers who have overcome.
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