Antonio Beard became a CPE student in 2004. He grew up in South East DC, and attended Jefferson Junior High School. He played football, had good grades, and was recruited by Archbishop Carrol High School to play football for their team. We recently sat down with Antonio to talk about his CPE experience and life since. Read more below about CPE alumnus, Antonio.
What’s one memorable moment you have of you and your mentor?
The very first time I met my mentor, Michael, we were on a retreat and I recall being very combative because I wanted a mentor of color but none were available at the time. Mike and I went back and forth, and having grown up in a single parent home, it was evident I had more respect for women than men especially if I didn’t know you. One thing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said was to find some type of common ground. During that exchange at the retreat, Mike revealed he grew up without his father, too. We have been family ever since, now going on 15 years.
In what ways did your mentor guide you throughout your CPE experience?
Mike was a father figure to me and showed me right from wrong. We built a bond and he understood what I was going through as a young teen. He showed tough love at times and it was fair because it kept me focused throughout high school which inevitably helped me graduate.
What kind of work are you doing now post-CPE?
I am Co-Founder and Vice President of Lead by Example, a foundation based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to inspire the community, with an emphasis on the youth to make smart, healthy and life-changing decisions through sport, mentorship, and charity. We are a 501c3 tax exempt organization.
In what ways has CPE impacted your life?
CPE believed in me and never turned its back on me. Khari Brown continues to mentor me throughout this process of building my non-profit organization, Lead by Example. I graduated from the CPE program in 2007 and it’s been great to have built a brotherhood with Khari that has spanned the course of 15 years. CPE has played a big role in my success.
What do you enjoy doing with your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my son, feeding the homeless, and participating in community events across the DMV area.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Patience is key and to have faith the size of mustard seed.