Dozens of young inmates at the Nebraska Correctional Youth Facility were taken out of their regularly scheduled classes on Thursday to attend a motivational talk by WBO Junior Welterweight World Champion, Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford.
Crawford, who is an Omaha native, says he understands these young men since he grew up in a similar, if not the same neighborhood. He said growing up, he was surrounded by negative influences that made him make poor decisions.
“Trust me, getting shot is no fun,” Crawfold told his audience. “Then God started telling me – this ain’t for you. You have so much talent. You need to be utilizing it.”
His goal Thursday was to inspire the inmates to make better choices after their release and set goals for themselves.
“You are in charge of your own destiny. Not the man next to you,” said Crawford.
Inmates say Crawford’s message resonated with them since the message was coming from someone who had been through the same things they’ve gone through and overcame similar obstacles.
“He was talking about choices,” said inmate Bailing Dat. “How I could’ve made a better choice.”
Leaders at the facility said this is why they invited the champion to speak to the inmates. They thought he’d be a great role model to show the kids they could beat their odds.
“There is promise out there. There is hope. If you go out there and give it all you’ve got, good things will happen,” said the facility’s administrative assistant, Curt Jordan.
The inmates were able to speak to Crawford one-on-one and share their own stories with him.
Crawford said he will definitely be back and continue to work with the vulnerable youth at the center, and hopefully keep them from returning to jail.