A grown man, with the passion and heart of a young person that has yet to be scorched by the flame of real life disappointments. He is as physically intimidating as any pro football or NBA athlete on TV. A Bridgeport resident via Brooklyn, NY and former offender, Abdul is street wise and highly intuitive. He often sights the fact that he suffers from PTSD due to years of street life and violence. In 2017 while sitting on his front porch Abdul, by all accounts was an innocent victim of a “drive by” shooting meant for someone else.
Abdul came to Hang Time during a community “welcome to spring event” held in early 2014 at Bridgeport’s Beardsley Park. A local church Bishop attended the event and brought Abdul and several other young men to participate. When the day was done, Abdul immediately began to assist the event organizers with cleaning up and also offered to help in future events. Since that day, Abdul has been a devoted Hang Timer and has consistently volunteered to assist in organizing, setting up and breaking down for Hang Time sessions and events throughout the city of Bridgeport.
Hang Time has assisted Abdul secure employment and housing as well as many other resources for his success in life. In late 2018, Abdul’s mother passed away. Since he has very little family here in CT, Abdul refers to Hang Time as his family. Before going to his mother side, he first stopped at Hang Time and was showered with love and support by everyone in attendance.
Upon his return to CT. Abdul received an enormous level of support to prevent him fading into a state of depression. One Hang Time attendee and loyalist Dr. Vesna Markovic, donated a ticket to the annual Walter Camp Football Dinner to Hang Time which we immediately gave to Abdul whom is a huge football fan. The event is a “black tie” event and Abdul had no tuxedo and had never even worn a tux or attended such a prestigious gala. Through several generous “kind fund” donations the cost of a tuxedo rental was raised and Abdul attended the gala dressed to impress.
The following week at a regular Hang Time session Abdul displayed a new sense of positive
energy and was clearly appreciative of the experience given to him during a low time of his life. He went on to show pictures of him at the event with some of his all-time football greats, such as Hershel Walker. He was mingling with high profile individuals such as the Mayor of New Haven and many others. According to Abdul, by being around such influential people, he felt inspired to be better as a person and live his best in life every day. He says “I felt blessed and valued just being there”.
As a direct result of Abdul’s experiences as a participant of Hang Time he is now planning to
become a youth mentor and a community activist in the city of Bridgeport.