The late Steve McQueen, international film star and
perhaps Boys Republic's most famous graduate, revisited
the campus often during his later career.
A recreation hall bearing his name was built largely
through McQueen's contributions to Boys Republic. He
is shown here receiving the "Loyal Order of the
Della Robbia" award, an acknowledgment for his
continuing efforts on behalf of Boys Republic.
Boys Republic recently received the following correspondence
from Kumonee Butler, a former student:
"I just thought it would
be appropriate for me to write this letter expressing
my gratitude to the entire Boys Republic program.
I feel that the program is a stone-solid program that
truly opens the eyes of those in need of support and
love. I am a witness to that ... In my quest to gain
success, the tools that Boys Republic helped me to
gain made living in this world a little easier."
"I feel blessed that I
was given the opportunity to be a student in the program,
and there are times when I wonder where my life would
be had I not accepted the invitation. I have gained
so many friends, real friends, who care about my life,
health and social status in my community. With that,
I cannot thank you all enough."
Kumonee graduated in 1994. He is a recipient of the
distinguished Virginia Pease Hunt Scholarship. Now entirely
self-supporting, Kumonee is employed as a shift leader
in a group home for disadvantaged youth. He plans to
attend Laney Community College to study psychology.
"It doesn't matter how
we start out. The fact is, we're all capable of great
achievement. I was a poor kid from a poor family who
got no help or support when I was small. But I was
lucky enough to go through Boys Republic and gain
confidence, self-esteem and a strong work ethic."
John Parker turned his life-long obsession with fast
cars, motorcycles and bicycles an obsession that
landed him in Boys Republic in the late 1960's
into Yeti Cycles, one of the leading makers of high-technology
mountain racing bikes in the world.
He recently merged his company with Schwinn Bicycles
and also serves on the Board of Directors of the National
Off-Road Bicycling Association.
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