Petal School District kicks off academic year at opening convocation

Pine Belt News

PETAL, Miss. (WHLT) – A man who went from football star to drug addict to prison inmate is now sharing his life story in an effort to keep people from traveling the same path.

Damon West brought his message to Petal High School at the district’s opening convocation on Friday. He is now a bestselling author who co-wrote ‘The Coffee Bean’ with Jon Gordon.

West shared his life story of how he was able to turn devastating circumstances in his life into triumph. He went from a standout football player at North Texas University to a career as a stockbroker that was derailed by methamphetamines. West spent seven years in prison.

In his book, West talks about how to transform a harsh environment or experience into creating positive change.

“I think it was really inspiring. He had a message of hope. He had a message that can relate to our students our staff and our community,” said Petal School District Assistant Superintendent Rob Knight.

To kickstart the school year, the Petal School District purchased $5,000 copies of “The Coffee Bean.” Staff and students will also take part in a district wide reading of the book.

“Just as a reminder that we have the ability to control our attitude in the midst of those hard times and really be a model for students to live with hope and live with a positive attitude in all situations,” said Petal Elementary School District Assistant Superintendent Kelly Brown.

West is hopeful this book will not only inspire people of all ages but also teach values and lessons that will last a lifetime.

“The power to change any situation in your life is inside you. It’s not in the world around you. The power is inside you. That means no matter what’s going on in the world around you, you have the power to choose what kind of day you want to have and what kind of impact you want to have on the world,” said West.

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