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Chance encounter with police officer changes North Texas teen's life

Police officer helps North Texas teen achieve dream
Police officer helps North Texas teen achieve dream 02:40

ALLEN — A chance encounter with a police officer nine years ago changed the life of a young middle school student in Allen. This month, they reunited to celebrate that student's incredible achievement. It shows how much of an impact can be made simply by someone who cares.  

As a former motorcycle officer who enforced school zones and crosswalks, Corporal Michael Spillman has met countless Allen ISD students. Preston Forsburg always stood out. 

"There was something about him that was very genuine," he said. 

The two met back in 2015 when Preston was attending Ereckson Middle School. One of Preston's teachers told Spillman that Preston was kind of unsure of himself and asked if he'd be able to shadow him. Spillman, of course, said yes. 

"As soon as he came in, you could tell he was his own guy," Spillman said. "He didn't have anything prepared. He genuinely was like, 'Let's check this out.'" 

Spillman took Preston on a station tour, and he loved every minute of it. He even sent Spillman a thank you note he's kept all this time. 

 "He had an interest in law enforcement, but he made the comment to me.. 'well, I think I may want to go into the military and I may want to join the Army, but I just don't know if I can really do that,'" Spillman said. "I told him just don't give up and work as hard as you can, and things will fall into place and we talked a lot that day about honor and integrity and sacrifice."

Three years later Preston's parents reached out for a letter of recommendation for West Point. Spillman couldn't believe it. 

"I was head over heels," Spillman said. "I was really excited for him. It's a huge honor to get to go to West Point and so I absolutely wanted to do anything I could to help him with it."

Not only did he get in, Preston recently graduated and Spillman made sure he did not miss his graduation party.  

Preston Forsburg
Allen Police Officer Michael Spillman

"It was touching to think of the eighth grader that was with me and he did it," Spillman said. "He got exactly where he wanted to get! To me, that is the most important thing you can do in life. You know 'the next generation' sounds so cliché and silly, but the most important thing you can do is actually pay attention to a kid and invest in them." 

Preston, the perfect example of what can happen if you do. 

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