Life is a journey, and we all take different paths. Meet Myon Butler. He’s a doting father. He’s a high school senior who graduates this year. He’ll be the first in his family to attend college. And he’ll be the first to tell you why he remains motivated to self-improvement.
You see, earlier this year, Myon was in secure detention at the Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services Center (PJJSC). PJJSC provides temporary care for youth as they await their juvenile court hearing.
Youth remain engaged in school while living at the PJJSC. The School District of Philadelphia (SDP) operates an onsite school. Plus, the PJJSC offers out-of-school time programming such as music production classes through a community partnership with Rock to the Future. They receive medical services. Some youth experience their first dental visit while living at the PJJSC.
After their time at PJJSC ends, youth move forward with their lives. For Myon, PJJSC was merely a stop on his life-long journey to be a better person. Myon credits his PJJSC experience for his new outlook on life. He realizes how he could make a positive impact on his son’s life. And how he could be a good role model for others looking to overcome their challenges. These days, you can find Myon volunteering and mentoring younger students. He’s always making a connection and inspiring others with his story.
His efforts are noticed. SDP celebrated Myon as April’s Senior (Student) of the Month. Adam Northam, Director of Internal Communications at SDP, talked with Myon. Here’s what Myon had to say:
- What does being named Student of the Month mean to you? The more I think about it, the more it means. I’ve never gotten any type of student award other than honor roll (which I haven’t gotten since freshman year). It’s humbling to know that I was in competition with students who I know are smarter, have better relationships with others, or who have been in less trouble. It’s extra special knowing that I won while I was at PJJSC.
- Why do you think you were nominated for Student of the Month? I work hard to impact others in a good way. When I was inside, I tried to build relationships and connect with the other kids. I realized that I could help because I did have some skills that they didn’t have. I’m decent at school and a good communicator so I thought I might as well be helpful.
- You were nominated by Ms. Flemming. Explain your relationship to her? She was a good mentor for me while I was at PJJSC. She helped me through, and kept reminding me that the easy part is getting out, the hard part is staying out. She also helped me find resources that I need for life, including parenting resources and classes.
- What do you enjoy most when you are not at school? I like to read a lot, I could do it all day. I had to go to PJJSC to realize that though…! I also like to work out – it’s therapy for me. And I like to travel, learn new environments and try new foods.
- In your opinion, what is the best thing about attending school at Vaux? The students, staff and teachers here make it easy. I like talking and they are easy to talk to. If the teachers and staff see that you’re putting in the work, they will stop at nothing to support you. I just believe you get out of it what you put in, and I think they agree.
- In your opinion, what is one thing that the School District could do to improve our service to students? I would love for the District to offer more extracurricular options – different activities for students with different interests.