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Success Stories

How Do Others Evaluate My Brother’s Keeper Programs?

The words of our clients and those dealing with them daily attest to the success of our program.

What does My Brother’s Keeper mean to you?

Andrew
By the age of one, I was fatherless. I felt isolated and craved what other boys had – a father. By the age of ten I was targeted and sexually abused by a child molester who preyed on my vulnerability.  Through adolescence and into my adulthood, I carried that burden. I struggled under the weight, battled with the world with an anger that could erupt in an instant. Through three marriages, I shouldered the burden and was silenced by the shame and guilt. And then one day it was too much. I called My Brother’s Keeper after 32 years of silence, I finally disclosed my secrets.  MBK has given me a new life. I confronted the burden of guilt and shame. I learned how to managing my anger. Now I am looking ahead to a new chapter in my life!

Todd
My childhood was not anything out of the ordinary. There was no abuse or real neglect. However my father was a passive aggressive man, even though he was there he wasn’t there. So I relied on my mother. I grew up on a 300 acre farm in Wisconsin. I was a very good son up until my first day of college, where I began to drink and use drugs. After 2 years I flunked out of college and began a career playing music.  As a young man who loved to party, this was not the best choice of work for me. I had 2 DUI’s by the time I was 21. I got married at the age of 23 and soon after that started having children. My life started to slow down, but I would quickly cycle back to binge drinking every couple of years, which of course caused problems in my marriage. My wife told me about My Brother’s Keeper and gave me an ultimatum, if I did not call to schedule an appointment our marriage was over.  I called 2 1/2 years ago and have attended the program on a regular basis since then.  I have a new perspective on life and how to deal with my family and co-workers.  In our sessions we talk about everyday life experiences and how I should react.  I never had any idea how easy life could be if I talked to someone about how I felt instead of just keeping it all inside and causing so much collateral damage all around me.  I am still a work in progress but my marriage is still intact and with MBK’s help I know I can make my life the best it can be.  They taught me it is up to ME!

Gaylyn
I don’t know how to really put this, so I’m just gonna let it fly. I was a wreck when I first started to coming to  My Brother’s Keeper, and my life was a mess. Fast forward to about 10 months later my relationship is great with my girlfriend (my daughter’s mom).  My bond with my daughter is phenomenal.  My parents are excited to have me over. I now know most of the time which issues are worth discussing and which to leave alone. Thank you guys for giving me my life back!

This is the happiest I been in my life.

Andrew
By the age of one, I was fatherless. I felt isolated and craved what other boys had – a father. By the age of ten I was targeted and sexually abused by a child molester who preyed on my vulnerability.  Through adolescence and into my adulthood, I carried that burden. I struggled under the weight, battled with the world with an anger that could erupt in an instant. Through three marriages, I shouldered the burden and was silenced by the shame and guilt. And then one day it was too much. I called My Brother’s Keeper after 32 years of silence, I finally disclosed my secrets.  MBK has given me a new life. I confronted the burden of guilt and shame. I learned how to managing my anger. Now I am looking ahead to a new chapter in my life!

Darcy and Chris
My husband Chris and I have been bringing our son Caleb to My Brother’s Keeper for a year now and Caleb loves to come and talk with Harry about things that are going on in his life, school, and home. Things he would not talk to us about.  My Brother’s Keeper has been a great mentoring program for Caleb and also helped our family so much in the past year. The whole experience has been amazing. The program has so many wonderful people and we can tell they really care for anyone who walks in the door.

Brian
 “I thought that my life had no purpose, so I was just drifting through life, but then when I unpacked it….I understood how to process my past and move forward. I began working with My Brother’s Keeper and they taught me how to believe in myself. In our sessions we talk about goals and my future success.  Every week I become stronger and now I am working and I feel a sense of pride and hope for the days ahead.

 Gavin
I have been meeting with Harry Sydney for approximately two years. I started seeing him because I felt counseling was not working and I was making really bad choices in life. Harry has helped me to turn my life around in many ways. He’s talked to me about being more responsible by giving me real life examples that make sense. He’s helped me to have a better relationship with my father by talking to me about his relationship with his father. He’s helped me see a bigger picture in life and to not let the little things make me angry. Harry cuts right to the chase and calls me out if I need it. At first I did not really like meeting with Harry, but now I look forward to seeing him. I know I can count on him to be straightforward.

Barb (Gavin’s Mom)
I first took my son to My Brother’s Keeper about two years ago. He had been seeing counselors for many years, but I was looking for something different for him. I felt he needed someone totalk to that wasn’t a parent, teacher, or counselor. I really was at the end of my rope with him. Since my son has been seeing Harry, I have seen him grow in many ways. He appreciates havingsomeone to talk to that is straightforward and will tell him like it is. My Brother’s Keeper has helped our family by providing sound direction for my son. He has been more respectful, moreresponsible, and is definitely making better choices. He looks forward to meeting with Harry where he can share things, get advice, and get help with any problems he is having that he mightnot want to share with me or his father. Harry Sydney and the My Brother’s Keeper staff has been a great choice for my son and consequently, our family. Thank you!

Matt, Lore, & Aidan
My Brother’s Keeper has been the right program for our son Aidan. He was struggling with depression and had been to other counselors who focused on what he was doing wrong. Their approach made him shut down. When we walked into My Brother’s Keeper I knew it was going to be different. Harry isn’t a doctor; he has a way of pointing out to Aidan that the decisions he was making was hurting himself. Harry made Aidan hold himself accountable for his actions immediately, and that allowed our family to come together and gain respect for each other. When Aidan was talking to Harry we were talking with Madonna, she understands how hard it is for parents trying to help their children. Aidan is doing great and wants to talk with Harry, it’s not a Dr. Appointment, just a friend that cares.

Michael – 16 years old

“My Brother’s Keeper has been very helpful to me. It helped me understand that no matter what anyone else thinks of me I have to respect myself. The best part of the program is when we talk about building a house with conviction, standards, loyalty, respect, and trust. We talk about not acting on emotions and feelings but always looking at life as a big picture. You believed in me when it seemed like everyone else gave up hope. I really did not like who I was becoming and My Brother’s Keeper helped me believe in myself again! I am learning how to respect myself again.”

“In the end I think what I have learned the most was making choices by MYSELF and not looking back and making those choices with INTEGRITY. Doing what is right even when no one is looking and giving you the pat on the back is the most important thing in life, and the most important thing in becoming a man.”

Ms. Zernicke, Middle School Teacher

“On behalf of all students and staff at Lombardi Middle School, I would like to thank you so much for the group sessions. The inspirational messages focused on important qualities such as respect, integrity, and responsibility. These are the qualities that we are trying so hard to instill into our students’ daily lives. Harry Sydney’s presentations are beneficial for our middle school students who are at that very impressionable age. We feel strongly that together we can make a difference in the lives of all of our students. Thank you again for providing our students this valuable experience.”

Mrs. Simons-High School Student Services

“East High School sincerely thanks Mr. Harry Sydney for the time he spends with our students. His guidance and mentoring is an invaluable asset to our students as very often these students lack strong, male role models. Your rapport with these young men is evident in your work with them. It is our hope that your positive influence will carry on for all of them throughout their lives. Mr. Sydney’s dedication to improving the lives of young men in our community is apparent in the effectiveness of your work. We are very lucky to have you as part of our East family. We look forward to working with you for many school years.”

Brian Laurent, Brown County Juvenile Detention Center, Juvenile Supervisor

“During my career I have had the luxury of seeing first hand that our facility is committed to providing inmates programs which lead to personal growth, rehabilitation, and reintegration into the community. I live, work, and am raising a family in the community so it is extremely important to me that every juvenile released from our custody is in a better position to succeed than when they arrived. I believe Harry Sydney shares these values and has helped our facility towards achieving its mission. My Brother’s Keeper teaches youth about community values and the importance of positive contributions to the community. The program encourages them to become active and help the community in many ways, such as participating in community service projects. … I feel My Brother’s Keeper has educated juveniles on the effects of their decisions and has given them tools to make better, more informed choices. … I believe My Brother’s Keeper strives to build youth with Integrity, Respect, and Standards and the program has been a tremendous asset to our facility and to the communities in our area.” – Read additional words from Brian

Michael Grones, former president, Labor Management Council of Northeast Wisconsin

“Harry stole the show at our annual convention. Everyone loved hearing what he had to say and loved talking to him after his talk.”

Father Jim Lucas, St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Appleton

“Harry Sydney’s visit made a difference in our community.  He called us to accountability and to live a virtuous life.  It was a welcomed message.”