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updated: 8/26/2014 7:34 PM

Former child soldier to speak at Glenbard West

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  • Ishmael Beah, an author, activist and former child soldier, will speak Thursday at Glenbard West High School.

      Ishmael Beah, an author, activist and former child soldier, will speak Thursday at Glenbard West High School.
    Courtesy of Erik Telford

 
By Safiya Merchant
smerchant@dailyherald.com

Parents and students will get the chance to hear from author and former child soldier Ishmael Beah on Thursday as part of the District 87 Glenbard Parent Series: Navigating Healthy Families program.

Beah, the author of "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" and "Radiance of Tomorrow: A Novel," is originally from Sierra Leone and was a child soldier during his early teens.

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Beah said he's excited to speak at 7 p.m. at Glenbard West High School, 670 Crescent Blvd., Glen Ellyn.

"I'm always excited to come to places, particularly where young people have learned something different from their own culture and their own environment. The conversation is always rewarding for me, particularly because I like to see how young people are thinking about the world that they live in," Beah said.

"I know young people always ask very direct and honest questions, so I always am excited to have a conversation with them."

The Glenbard Parent Series will run for the next several months and give guests the chance to hear from more than 25 speakers on topics such as understanding eating disorders; raising responsible and confident teenagers; trends in the teen party scene; and dealing with stress and academic pressure. A full program list can be found online.

Besides the weekday programming, there also will be a few Saturday workshops. Some Spanish programming will be available, as well as events jointly organized by the African American Parent Committee.

Translation headsets can be requested for any program.

Glenbard Student and Community Projects Coordinator Gilda Ross said the events are open to "anyone and everyone."

The mission of the program is to inspire and empower parents, Ross said.

"When we all come together, then our communities become stronger," she said. "We're promoting social and emotional wellness of our students."

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