JOHNSON CITY, NY – A prominent local businessman visited some middle school students today to share a message about the power of positivity and the importance of learning from your mistakes.

Adam Weitsman, CEO of Upstate Shredding in Owego, gave a presentation to students in the Liberty Partnership program at the J-C middle school.

Weitsman discussed his lack of self-esteem as a child as well as regrets he has from his young adulthood.

That includes a banking crime that led to a 1 year prison sentence.

Weitsman says he came out of prison determined to start over and build a positive legacy for himself and his family.

He urged the kids to work to imrpove themselves, get organized and surround themselves with positive people.

Weitsman says he was impressed by the questions the students asked.

“This is an amazing program at this school. I didn’t know what I was coming into. What a program this is. It blew me away. These kids are smart, polite, engaged. It just shows that this school and this program is helping these kids, is changing these kids lives,” says Weitsman.

The Liberty Partnership provides academic, social and emotional support to students identified by the school as needing assistance.

It’s operated by Binghamton University and is also in the Binghamton, Union-Endicott and Susquehanna Valley districts.

Academic Counselor Quentin Pappadakis says he and the other staff members offer career exploration and college visits in preparation for life after high school.

“I just want them to see what else is out there in the world. For me, bringing in Adam Weitsman, that is big to them. It’s showing them that anything is possible and they can do anything if they put their mind to it. Sometimes, you may have setbacks in life, but don’t let that stop you from pursuing your dream,” says Pappadakis.

Weitsman encouraged the students to be kind to one another and not let others bring down their self confidence.

He also talked about his new business venture in crypto-currency mining and the metaverse.

And he discussed the friendships he’s formed with celebrities such as Beyonce, Jay-Z and Tom Brady with whom he exchanges positive affirmations.