ISE Brings Motivational Speaker Greg Corbin to Bartram High School

Under a grant from PCCD, Inner Strength brought author, poet, and motivational speaker, Gregory Corbin to work with the students at one of our host schools, Bartram High School. Corbin, a graduate from Philly’s MLK High School and no stranger to the issues faced by our students, is passionate about bringing a healthy mindset and positive aspirations to students who struggled in ways he was all too familiar with.

On day one, Corbin led community discussions related to identity, how to choose happiness, and how to stay grounded in the face of adversity in the Bartram auditorium. Corbin spoke extemporaneously and shared some passages from his book Breathing Ashes: A Poetic Guide to Walking Through the Fire and Coming Out Reborn. The book is a creative rendition of his experience finding and applying mindfulness techniques to navigate his identity as a Black man and obstacles toward personal growth in his youth related to gun violence and familial complications.

Students identified with Corbin in a way that motivated them to continue conversation on mentioned topics in the Inner Strength Chill Spot; a brave space led by Strength and Stability staff. Strength and Stability is a department of Inner Strength Education focused on servicing youth most impacted by gun violence by leveraging social-emotional learning, community building, trust, and mindfulness techniques.

On day two, Corbin discussed the importance of ambition and how breath work is key to staying grounded. Corbin led a breath practice with students that inspired conversation about what it feels like and what it means to sit in stillness, how to have empathy, and how to forgive others and oneself. The event was deeply moving for everyone, students and facilitators alike. Check out footage from the seminar here.


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