New Britain Herald – New Britain students hear African-American success stories

NEW BRITAIN – Marking Black History Month, which ends today, the New Britain Opportunities Industrialization Center on Tuesday presented African-American guest speakers and performers to an audience of middle and high school students.

“It’s my belief that if kids can connect to local heroes, they have a chance to be heroes themselves,” Adrian Elliott, youth specialist at OIC, said.

More than 50 students heard the success stories of Bomani Brown, Edmond Battle, Mark Schand and Iunre Smart Jr.

Battle has spent the last 17 years as a probation officer in New Britain, working with at-risk youth from 8 to 17.

“I felt good walking in because I don’t know any of you,” Battle said with a smile.

He shared his story about being born in prison, where his mother, a drug addict, was…

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