Bradley graduate Adam Cohen wants students to know that the key to getting anything is eagerness.
This is the same approach he used as a fraternity president, student and now as the producer of the Golf Channel series, “Pipe Dream.”
The series follows Mark Burk, a former golf pro who is now homeless, with dreams of golfing in the PGA Tour.
“This is delicate subject matter,” Cohen said. “Dealing with him and his situation is not easy. Our crew doesn’t stay in the nicest places, but at least we have beds to sleep in at night. You have to step back and put yourself in his shoes.”
Cohen and his cousin came up with the idea after meeting Burk and hearing his story.
“[Dr.] Bob Jacobs’s class taught us that the story won’t come to you, you have to go out and find it,” he said. “In this case, it did come to us. And in my brain and my cousin’s brain, we figured this could be an interesting story.”
Cohen said working with Burk taught him patience and understanding.
“There are so many people in the streets in dire need,” he said. “He would take some food with him from the set so he’d have something to eat later on. We took care of him while he was with us, but then when we weren’t there he had to fend for himself.”
The goal of “Pipe Dream” is to show that there can be hope in anything, Cohen said.
“We weren’t exploiting him, we wanted to raise awareness about homelessness,” he said. “We thought it would be a great feature.”
While at Bradley, Cohen spent two years commuting to Chicago every weekend for work.
“I worked for a sitcom on ABC and a WBBM radio Chicago Bears broadcast,” he said. “I also had independent studies in Bob Jacobs’s and Dr. Zohoori’s classes, and they were able to let me do my own thing.”
As Alpha Epsilon Pi president, Cohen said he learned a valuable life lesson early on.
“You have to take charge and move forward,” he said. “And in that house I had to learn how to work with a group. I ran the fraternity house the same way I run a set, by staying on track. I have money on the line here, and I had money on the line in the fraternity, the house budget.”
Cohen’s advice for students was simple: humility and dedication.
“Don’t feel so self-entitled or that you’re better than anyone else,” he said. “Who you know might get you there, but once you’ve got your foot in the door it’s all about what you know. If you want to move up, you’ll get your opportunity to shine, but be patient. Do what you need to get there, and be ready to do whatever it takes.”