Monday, September 30, 2002
Outley, one of four alumni Culture for Service recipients, to speak Oct. 4 at GC
GOSHEN, Ind. ╔ Sylvester Outley knows the harsh realities of drug addiction and street life, but he also understands the power of transformation. Once one of the ten most wanted criminals in Texas, Outley, a 1969 Goshen College graduate now is founder and director of SELF Inc., one of the largest drug rehabilitation programs in Philadelphia, Pa.
Outley, along with Ed ╬57 and Theo Hartzler Yoder ╬58 of Archbold, Ohio, and Kathleen Zehr ╬40 of Lowville, N.Y., will receive Goshen College╬s most prestigious alumni award ╦ the Culture for Service Award, named after the college╬s motto ╦ during Alumni Weekend Oct. 4-6.
Outley will talk to students and
the public in a convocation at 10 a.m. Oct. 4 in the college╬s Church-Chapel;
his speech is titled °Faith Works.Ë During the convocation, two Goshen College
students will receive Barnabas Servant Leadership Awards for their on- and
off-campus service to others.
By age 30, Outley had been
arrested 86 times for drug involvement and swindling, and was eventually
sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 1955 ╦ years of paradox which he later
said were dehumanizing, yet gave him self-understanding, allowing him to
transcend drugs and gain meaning in life.
He earned his G.E.D. and
graduated from Goshen with a social work major. He earned master╬s and
doctorate degrees before founding the Socio-Emotional Learning and Family
Center in Chester County, Pa., a therapeutic residential program for criminals,
as well as Outley Professional Services, an outpatient drug and alcohol
facility in Philadelphia, which became SELF.
SELF now has a $4 million annual
budget, encompassing emergency shelters, peer outreach, transitional housing
and community revitalization programs. More than just sobriety training, SELF
teaches that addicts must use the basic life principles of love, respect,
truth, honesty, care, compassion and forgiveness to rebuild individual lives.
Outley╬s work in transforming
the city╬s shelters from havens for addiction and crime into bases for recovery
and wellness has become the model for Philadelphia╬s entire shelter system. And
SELF continues to allow people to realize their full potential as °humans made
in God╬s imageË by rebuilding their lives ╦ one at a time.
The Yoders have set up
scholarship funds at Goshen College and Hesston (Kan.) College, as well as
helping start a student aid fund at Zion Mennonite Church in 1982 that has
supported 124 students through college.
Ed, an accountant at Sauder
Woodworking since 1968, spent 12 years on GC╬s Board of Overseers and served on
steering committees for the college╬s two major capital campaigns. Theo, a
retired obstetrics nurse, has taken medical mission trips to five different
Central American countries and has been active in Meals on Wheels, Hospice and
Hands of Grace, an interfaith volunteer organization that provides adult
daycare for elderly and disabled persons.
A retired home economics
teacher, Zehr earned a master╬s degree from Columbia University Teacher╬s
College in 1942 and taught at Beirut Lebanon College for Women for a year
before returning to New York, where she has been a Sunday school teacher for 53
years and volunteer church secretary for 20 years.
Zehr has devoted herself to care of the elderly and to
higher education as a founding board member of Brookside Mennonite Retirement
Community. She helped develop and volunteers for the Lewis County Hospice
program, was president of Lowville Civic Club and was involved in the Delta
Kappa National Sorority, providing educational scholarships for Native
Americans. In 2000, she received the United Way Senior Citizens Award for
willingness to contribute to her community.
Goshen College is a national
liberal arts college known for leadership in international education,
service-learning and peace and justice issues in the Anabaptist-Mennonite
tradition. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program and exceptional
educational value, GC serves about 1,000 students in both traditional and
nontraditional programs. The college earned citations of excellence among U.S.
News & World Report, Yahoo! and Barron╬s Best Buys in Higher Education. For more information, visit http://www.goshen.edu/. ###
Editors: For information, contact Ryan Miller at (574) 535-7572 or firstname.lastname@example.org.