A Lil Positivity: Chicago Senior Now Helps Kids Realize Their Dreams After His Was Deferred

- By Bossip Staff

Stanford Saw His Dreams Come True With The Help Of New Initiative From 5 Gum

While growing up, Stanford Bailey’s dream was to be a champion swimmer.

He was a freshman at Chicago’s John Marshall High School in 1964 when he developed his natural talent, and soon became the school’s star swimmer.

Stanford dreamt of joining the school’s all-white swim team, but he said issues like stereotypes, perceptions about the sport and his fear of what others would think kept him on the sidelines and away from following his gut.

That regret about not joining the swim team stuck with him for the rest of his life, and at 69, the retiree now swims all the time and works to help young people live out their own dreams and not live with what could have been.

“I like to leave some sort of legacy, and my legacy will be one of helping to inspire younger people to make the right choices,” Stanford told us. “I just think when a person can focus on a dream they have, it keeps them out of a lot of mischief. I like to inspire young people to do something that is going to keep their mind active and allow them to be able to help.”

Stanford, who now runs his own nonprofit, partnered with 5 Gum for the “No Regrets” campaign to inspire others, after the sugar-free gum’s new survey found that 96 percent of people over 65 lived with at least major regret.

“Helping people is an honor,” Stanford said. “Inspiring people is an honor. Especially when you are helping them and inspiring them to do something that’s honorable. That’s what I like.”

Check out the video above of Stanford and his journey.

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