Archived Story

Pro player spreads positive message

Published 8:42am Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Niles High School graduate drafted by the Chicago Cubs in June had a message for Oak Manor students participating in an after school program Monday.

Anyone can accomplish their dreams, no matter where they grow up.

“You make your own decisions and you can get out of life what you want as long as you work for it,” said David Garner, a former Oak Manor student and 2010 Niles High graduate. “I know some of these kids struggle with home life. I grew up in a single parent household and I am out there going after my dream.

“I felt that when I was younger the community helped me out and looked out for me a lot, so I want to be able to give back and do something good for (Niles).”

Garner just returned from instructional league in Arizona, where he pitches for the Arizona League Cubs. He will go back to Arizona for spring training in February.

“It’s my first year and it’s been a really good experience,” Garner said. “I’m learning a lot and meeting a lot of good people.”

The after school program is a partnership between Oak Manor and the Niles-Buchanan YMCA.

Students meet Monday through Thursday after class to engage in activities designed to raise academic achievement and improve physical fitness.

Nicole Weber, the Y’s after school coordinator, said more than 100 students are signed up for the program, which began in late September. She said they average about 40-50 students on a typical evening.

Any Oak Manor students interested in signing up for the program should fill out an application in the school office.

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