Published : Monday, April 21, 2014 | 7:43 PM
Former Assemblymember Anthony Portantino visited John Muir High School recently to exchange ideas with 30 male students involved with Mentoring & Partnership for Youth Development (MPYD), a non-profit mentoring, character development and academic support program that Portantino has supported for years. Sharing anecdotes from his careers as a public servant and television producer Portantino employed a sports analogy to encourage MPYD members to pursue goals with discipline and diligence. “Can you catch the fly ball in the outfield by standing still? No! You’ve got to go run and catch it – and I know you can do it, too!” Portantino told the students.
Commenting on the prevalence of social media, Portantino urged the MPYD students to limit their online time and to concentrate on developing positive relationships in the real world. “Social media should never be a substitute for a handshake,” he said.
Joining Portantino to speak to the Muir MPYD students was Pasadena Superintendent of schools Jon Gundry who opened up about his struggles as a high school graduate left to fend for himself by tough-love parents. “Their philosophy was that when you graduate from high school you need to make your own way. I didn’t go to college right away because I was more concerned with how I was going to survive. So, I’m sitting here because of choices I made, not because anything was given to me,” Gundry explained.
A strong supporter of MPYD, the Superintendent expressed admiration for the program which has operated at Muir for 12 years. “This is the best mentoring program that I’ve seen and I’ve been in this business for 35 years now,” Gundry stated.
Since 2002, Mentoring and Partnership for Youth Development (MPYD) has provided guidance and motivation to male high school students through one-on-one mentoring, academic support, character development, and college and career preparation. For additional information call (626) 396-5600 ext 82009 or visit www.MPYD.org.