West Philadelphia’s Farrad McLaughlin, 26, was crushed when he lost his older brother to gun violence a decade ago. But since that moment, he’s been determined not to be defined by his environment.
So too, for Chris Felix, 22, the son of a single mother from Northeast Philly who emigrated from Haiti.
Both are first generation college students who WHYY featured in a story in 2014 about the Philadelphia Futures mentorship program.
Then, McLaughlin — who went to Sayre High School — had just completed his undergraduate degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
And Felix had just earned a diploma from Northeast High School.
Four years later, McLaughlin recently finished his masters in leadership at Cabrini University, and Felix graduated cum laude from Lafayette College — a job with Lincoln Financial Group in hand.
In a NewsWorks Tonight interview, guest host Kevin McCorry caught up with the pair to discuss what it’s like to make mom proud and how to be a pillar for a younger generation surrounded by poverty and violence.
Listen to the full interview above.