Ken Bartolo: Writing a new legacy

Ken Bartolo

In high school Ken Bartolo was a stand out athlete Jamesville-Dewitt, but after suffering an injury and being prescribed pain killers he fell victim to an addiction that would control the next 27 years of his life.

"I got addicted to pain killers and just like I tell the kids, I had no idea that would lead to me being addicted to heroin," Bartolo said.

Mix in alcohol and other drugs - Ken's college offers disappeared and his downward spiral landed him a three year stint in state prison for a DWI.

Now, almost thirty years since his playing days, Bartolo has a new mission.

"I thought we'd try to turn that negative experience into a positive experience by helping kids now," he said.

He started his own initiative called 'There and Back' where he travels to schools all over the region sharing his story.

"I think that 25, 27 years of struggle was worth something because now we can help other kids and keep them from going down that path," Bartolo explained.

He preaches positivity, opening kid's eyes to their own worth, and encouraging them to always do their best.

"If I can affect one of them then I've done my job - one."

His goals aren't scored on the lacrosse field anymore.

"My family doesn't talk about games I've played anymore. They talk about this. You know what I mean - that's what's most important, the legacy that you leave behind," he said.

His example - proving that it's not about how you fall, it's about how you get back up.

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