Accepting the Label of Role Model
Former Buehrle Academy Transitional School graduate Tjay Fry said sometimes he can’t see himself as a role model for younger kids since he has so much growing to do himself. But he further commented that he clearly understands why they see him as such.
Fry, who has been proudly serving his country as a United States Marine for three and a half years, said he’s always willing to return to Buehrle and speak to the students there. He spent two years at Buehrle, transitioning between sophomore and his junior years.
“Buehrle really helped me,” Fry said. “They were able to respond to where I was at the time and really helped me to excel. They got me to the point where I could complete school. When I returned to my home school they were even able to bring my classes – pre-calculus and biology, there. They found a way to help me graduate. I’m always willing to return and speak to the students. I tell them; ‘if I can – you can.’”
Students in this program have experienced disciplinary violations and were removed from their home campus. Students from Buehrle will return to their home schools with improved behavior, attendance, and academics. That’s exactly what happened to Fry.
“The teachers and support staff at Buehrle really helped me. I don’t think I would have made it without them because believe me, I was the problem child. Now when people tell me I’m a role model, I think, I’m a role model? I guess I am. Because even though I’m still growing as a person, as a man, these students know I’m from the same place they’re from.
“Would I recommend serving in the Marines to other young people? Yes. But the Marine Corps isn’t for everyone. I would tell them to seek the branch of military service that’s right for you. In the military you learn discipline and focus. I needed that.”