Through interviews woven into a one-hour special, the life of a young man named Tourrie Moses unfolds onscreen.
And then it unravels.
The One That Got Away aired on select PBS stations for Spotlight Education, a week of programming on today’s education system and the challenges American students face, according to PR Newswire. Glenfield Middle School teacher Dan Gill called Tourrie that “One”—and Gill says it still haunts him.
Tourrie is serving a 15-year sentence for murder in the New Jersey state prison. But rewind just a few years, and you start to wonder what in the world happened.
Gill remembers Tourrie as stand-out student at Glenfield. It was classic, really: he had the grades, the friends, even the title of student council president in eighth grade. College-bound? Teachers unanimously pinned him a shoo-in.
So how does such a promising young man end up behind bars? For gang-related murder?
Over the course of three years, Emmy Award-winning documentary producers John Block and Steve McCarthy sat down with interviewees in Montclair to find out. Dan Gill and others who knew Tourrie shared their thoughts on “how the intertwined forces of home life, school life and street life can negatively impact a child,” as reported by PR Newswire.
So much goes on outside of the classroom. When the pressures of life are too much to handle, even the strongest students—the ones who seem like they have it all together—can break.
“But here’s what has to happen: there has to be someone to rescue you, to give you a lifeline,” says James Earle, principal of Montclair High School. Without that lifeline, even students who never went to the principal’s office can wind up behind bars. With support and accountability from people who care, students are better positioned to make the right choices and lead responsible lives.
Two years after Tourrie’s conviction, Gill takes a day to visit Tourrie.
“I got a kid like you,” Gill asks Tourrie. “You got any advice for me?”
Tourrie does. “Always pursue and let him know that you love him.”
Tourrie Moses is not just “The One” that got away. He represents countless people, young and old, who needed someone to come alongside and make a positive difference. Prison Fellowship’s mentoring resources equip people to make that difference. With intentional love, guidance, and support, a healthy mentoring relationship reflects the beauty of the way we are meant to live: in community.
To learn more about being a mentor, click here.