LANSING, Mich. — Eric Thomas is a motivational speaker, minister, author and consultant who, for two years of his early life, was homeless on the streets of Detroit.
He came to Lansing Thursday morning to speak to a group of Lansing police officers who have graduated from the G.R.E.A.T. program—an acronym that stands for gang resistance education and training.
THE G.R.E.A.T. program focuses on officers serving as role models for local youth.
"With the officers in this program, I think we all bring something to the table where we're going to go inspire and motivate our youth to know that, again, they have those endless opportunities," Officer Mikal Cook said.
During Thursday's training, officers took a personality assessment to better understand themselves, to learn how to effectively communicate with community members and to navigate which members of their team should take the lead in certain situations.
"By them understanding themselves and the community, we're giving them the tools they need to be able to collaborate and walk people through their challenges," Thomas said.
"It's not about the uniform," Cook said. "When we come into classrooms, it's going to be like, 'Hey, we're also a mentor to you, okay?'"
A mentor to them, like Thomas is to Cook.
"He came to one of our events, and I love his motivation—when I work out, I listen to it," Cook said. "First time he came in through the gates and I shook his hand, I called my friend like, 'I'm never washing my hand again!'"
Click here to learn more about Eric Thomas.
Click here to learn more about the G.R.E.A.T. program.
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