Alphonso Nathan ’05 is a glass half full kind of guy. He is someone who is excited about life and embraces everything it has to offer.
“Every time someone talks to me, they say ‘You’re just so happy,’” Alphonso said. “I tell them, ‘We all have a choice to be happy or sad.’ It’s something that was instilled in me at Milton Hershey School – [the fact that] we all have choices.”
Alphonso made a choice in seventh grade to apply to Milton Hershey School after convincing his mom to let him go. He recognized early on that his opportunities were limited in Staten Island, New York.
“We lived in a very tough area,” he said. “I knew I always had the potential to do well with my education, but the environment was difficult. It wasn’t going to provide me with the best opportunities, so I made a conscious decision after talking to my cousin who attended MHS.”
The opportunities Alphonso gained at MHS have been milestones in his life. He credits the introduction to organized sports with helping him become a two-year starter and All-Conference defensive end at Bloomsburg University. He also credits the structured home life environment with helping him understand and thrive in his profession.
“I’m a therapist and a behavior specialist,” Alphonso said. “I go into homes and provide structure. Because of my experience in a structured environment at MHS, a lot of my clients now benefit from my experiences.”
Alphonso is growing his dream as the Vice President and Lead Home Based Clinician at Brightside Counseling in the suburbs of Philadelphia. In addition to seeing clients, he and his mentor/business partner co-created the “T.H.I.N.K.” program. They work with area schools to promote positive decision making to middle and high school students. It empowers students to THINK before they act.
“Before they make a choice they should ask themselves the following questions,” he said. “Is the choice Thoughtful? Is it Helpful? Is it Intelligent? Is it Necessary? How will this choice affect me being Known? A lot of times, adolescents don’t think before they act. We made this program to help them think and make good choices.”
In addition, Alphonso is in the process of writing two books. One is a self-help book and the other is a step-by-step guide to starting a private practice. He also created a medical billing and coding company.
“What’s next for me is just endless opportunities,” he said. “I might even think about being a professor. I tell others, ‘The beauty is the journey, not the destination.’”