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He’s the president of the Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders club at Miramar High School, a part that Hugh Dinnall was meant to play.
“Leadership takes a lot of time, you gotta be strong-minded, you gotta have a heart for it, you gotta be passionate for leadership,” Hugh said.
The MTL club turned Hugh’s life around. When he joined in freshman year, he was struggling to balance school and football, with no father in his life for guidance. Fast forward to senior year, and Hugh is the big man on campus.
“He’s one of the top students we’ve had here at Miramar High, not only academically, but socially and athletically,” said Donald Reed, the MTL club’s faculty advisor.
Hugh leads by example, excelling in every way. He knows he’s a role model, especially to the two sophomores he’s practically adopted.
“Those like my little brothers, I take them under my wings, I’m not just a mentor in school I’m a mentor outside of school,” Hugh explained.
“He can tell them stories about how he was bullied, and how he’s overcome that, and now when he sees that here at school, he helps those kids, he talks to those kids and he changes their lives around,” Reed said.
He’s walked in their shoes, and they know it. Because of Hugh’s experience in MTL as a mentee, it makes him the ideal mentor for his younger peers.
“’Cause you know, he’s been through a lot, I’ve been through a lot, if he can do it, I can do it,” said sophomore Jahaad Pennywell, a football teammate and one of Hugh’s mentees. “He made me a better person, he treated me like family and I love him for that.”
“And like, if he sees us slacking in our grades he’ll go to the teacher, talk, see what’s wrong,” added Cawayne Reid, Hugh’s other mentee.
Yes, Hugh actually monitors his mentees’ grades, follows up with their teachers, things a father would do.
“It tells me that he cares, he’s not doing it to be recognized, he’s doing it ‘cause, he’s doing it from the heart,” Caywane said.
To stand out in football and wrestling, one has to be strong, but Hugh’s biggest strength is character. He once gave a homeless man his Miramar High wrestling team jacket, a prized possession, because he could see the man was shivering on a cold day.
“I always came up on the saying, you give and it will come back to you, you know what I mean?” Hugh said.
Yes, we do know what he means. Hugh is reaping the success that he sows.