Idol Chatter

“Whatever hurts my brother, hurts me.” That’s the motto of St. Benedict’s Prep school in Newark, New Jersey. The prep school has a 98 percent graduation rate. The population of school may surprise you – half the boys are African American, another third Hispanic, and predominately all of the students come from low income neighborhoods. All 550 students, from grades 7 through 12, refer to each other as “brother” – which speaks volumes on their morals and ethics.

60 Minutes featured the prep school in a segment that displayed the students’ morning routine. They begin their day by changing an affirmation – “You can be! You can be! You…go…and conquer! Happy Thursday!”. Part of the reason why St. Benedict’s Prep School is so unique and successful is because the students run a great portion of the school. Bruce Davis is the senior group leader and was elected into the position.

In the CBS segment SCott Pelley takes viewers inside the school. Fr. Edwin Leahy is the headmaster. Leahy told Pelley, “It’s a population that never gets to have control. That’s a better learning experience for them…the rule typically is if you’re going to make a decision without adult advice, you had better be right.”

85 percent of St. Benedict’s graduates earn college degrees. The “60 Minutes” segment features student Andrew Brice who was a former foster child living on the streets. one day Brice snuck into the school’s natatorium and told the water polo coach that he needed help – and help he gave him. The school is filled with young men that are not giving up on life despite the struggles that have been placed in their path.

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