‘Don’t give up’: Local grad’s journey toward success

Yard signs shouting “Congrats Grad!” are stuck in the ground outside Desean Robinson’s Williamsport housing unit that he shares with his mother. 

It’s one of only a few hints of Robinson’s graduation party from the night before, marking the end of years of hard work, some mistakes and his fight against depression. 

The 18-year-old grad proudly wears his Loyalsock Baseball T-shirt during his recent interview with On the PULSE. 

Robinson will be the first to admit he has made his share of mistakes. Growing up wasn’t always easy. 

When Robinson was 8 years old his older brother was killed in Philadelphia. The two weren’t close in age, or relationship, but his brother’s death helped shape the rest of his life. The loss was especially hard for Robinson’s mother, who decided to sign Desean up for Lycoming County’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Bridge program where he met Donna and Jim who would help fill an important gap in his life. 

“Without a support system I would have been a lot more depressed, doing a lot worse things than I should have been doing,” Robinson said.  

It was support systems like this that helped steer Robinson toward working hard in school, being accepted to Lock Haven University and hopefully one day owning his own business. 

A constant in Robinson’s life has been his struggle with depression. Unsure of the cause, he only knows that it has always seemed to be there. 

“I feel like I wasn’t always motivated. I feel like it took some power within myself to want to advance and succeed.”  

When he wasn’t spending time with Jim and Donna, Robinson found outlets through drumming, fishing and sports, such as baseball and football.  

“(Sports) kept me active, kept me busy. They kept me from doing the wrong things and going down the wrong paths,” he said. 

Robinson isn’t sure what kind of business he will one day own, but he hopes it has something to do with sports. 

He will be the first to admit that his life could have taken a very different path, but Robinson is sure that if he can make good choices, so can others. 

“There are some people who don’t think they’ll be able to make it to that point, but if you keep going and don’t give up, I promise you, you can go anywhere,” Robinson said.


  • Anne Reiner has been a journalist for over eight years. She lives in Lycoming County and founded On the PULSE to create a new and engaging way to bring local news to the region of Northcentral, Pennsylvania.

On the PULSE

On the PULSE is an online media outlet in Northcentral, Pennsylvania. We specialize in in-depth journalism, human interest content and video features. Our mission is to build engagement in community through local news.