Carmen Garner

Born and raised in Springfield, Mass., Carmen Garner faced many trials at a young age.  Realizing most kids did not grow up the way he did among the projects and crack houses, he knew something was different.  Endless family  members using needles filled with heroin, his mother begging for crack and eventually having to watch her die.  His brother was sentenced to life in jail.  He was between 17 different homes before setting out on his own at the age of 15.  With the help of a few concerned people he would go on to graduate high school and attend Westfield State University earning his Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design and then becoming an art teacher  in the Washington DC public school system.

Carmen  has graciously shared his story of struggle, tragedy and triumph in his memoir title From That to This.  This book contains original  artwork, poems and heart wrenching memories that chronicle Garner’s  youth in Springfield as a troubled young man with a will and determination to succeed. He is the founder and facilitator of the “MAN TALK” program at Hardy Middle School in Washington D.C. The mission of “MAN TALK” is to mold young men into young men of excellence by tapping into their greater potential.  “MAN TALK” gives young men the opportunity to experience the leadership and successes associated with becoming productive members of society.

AS A BOY, Carmen Garner was confronted by every conceivable human ill —poverty, drugs, sickness, violence, racism— He moved seventeen times, between relatives in the projects and foster care. He lost all of those he held most dear to AIDS, crack cocaine and incarceration. From this, Garner drew not despair, but strength. Confronted by ignorance, he turned to knowledge, the first in his family to go to college.

AS A MAN, Carmen Garner grew to discover that his character –battle hardened–could be used as a tool to reach out, to connect with young people. As a Public School teacher in inner-city Washington DC, Garner learned the power of his hard earned perspective, recognizing the raw potential in his students, and teaching them, above all things, that they have worth and talent and ability—the future made sacred in his classroom. Garner’s remarkable journey is told herein, in words, pictures and paintings.

He became a brother, teacher, husband, and father.  He turned disadvantage into opportunity.  Carmen Garner embodies empathy,humility, and the capacity to change lives.  Carmen is a symbol and an example of it.

From That to This is available for purchase on and  For more  information on the book and its author, contact Carmen at (301)j 366-5233 or Stay up to date on the latest From That to This news at or

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