MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Ti’Andre Bellinger was born and raised in Miami’s Model City. He says that at one time he was a young kid with a lot of anger and attitude. Now eight years later, this young man is focused on a really big plan.
Bellinger is training to become a city of Miami police officer.
At 19, he’s the leader of his section at the police academy.
“Ti’Andre is a tremendous young man,” Sean Prospect said. He’s had many mentors – I was fortunate to be one of them.”
“I think there was something about him and there was something about me that brought us together,” Bellinger said.
Bellinger says it’s what happened after school that really put him on the path to success.
“So I started through this program called After-School All-Stars in middle school. And I was afforded the opportunity to meet Sean at a campus event motivating middle schoolers what they would be getting into high school,” Bellinger explained. “After-School All-Stars helped me find that release… I started writing poetry and I started playing football. So through After-School All-Stars, there was no more anger. I was happy.”
And that’s how Bellinger met his mentor, Sean Prospect.
“Some of you know me, some of you don’t. I’m Sean Prospect, the executive director of After-School All-Stars. It’s my job to make sure you have free programs,” Prospect said.
Prospect remembers meeting a teen that had a lot attitude but also had a good heart
“Ti’Andre is very fortunate. When he came to the program, when he was in sixth grade, he was very full of attitude and anger,” Prospect said. “Within our program, he found the poetry and spoken word was huge for him.
Bellinger remembers everything Prospect taught him.
“One of the things he taught me… anything I wanna be I can achieve,” he said. “As long as you put yourself in the right position, set yourself up for success, and give yourself the best possible chance, there isn’t anything you can’t do.”
Bellinger stayed in After-School All-Stars through middle school. In high school he too became a mentor to younger kids. Soon after that, he experienced an unforgettable moment.
“I got to meet the first lady at a summer association meeting in D.C. She talked about the importance of not just sitting around during the summer,” he said. “She walked down I shook her hand… it was surreal, all of this is.”
Now Bellinger is on a mission to become a police officer, finish college, get into law school and then he says the White House.
“And you know, hopefully God willing, I’m going to get into the running so I can run as the president of the United States of America,” Bellinger said. “And I won’t stop because it’s never over.”