A Message of Hope

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Middle school students gained insight into smart decision-making and the benefits of hard work, perseverance and self-discipline after participating in an assembly called “Given a Second Chance” on Dec. 11.

During the assembly, students met Robert Aliano, who was left for dead when he was hit by a car after a night of partying in his senior year in college. Mr. Aliano, who was in a coma for six weeks and rehab for several months, was thought to never walk again. However, with the help of Jerry Figgiani, owner of East Coast Black Belt Academy in Middle Island, he persevered. Now, the pair travel to schools across Long Island, sharing their story and powerful messages of hope.

Mr. Aliano’s message to the students was to never give up, even if something bad happens. “Obstacles can be overcome by hard work,” he said.