I recently had the privilege of being the 2017 Ivy Preparatory Kirkwood Academy 8th Grade Promotional Exercise Speaker. At the request of veteran Educator, Dr. Charcia Nichols who serves as the school Principal, I began to gather words for the theme, “The World Awaits You!” Here’s my message to the scholars, parents and stakeholders as to why the world awaits our girls; tomorrow’s global leaders.
Over the years women have made the world recognize their beauty, strength and intelligence. Whether it was Aretha Franklin demanding RESPECT; Chaka Khan’s anthem celebrating the essence of women through “I’m Every Woman”; Whitney Houston’s greatest love of all showed the world that the children are our future; Janet Jackson’s affirmation of control to TLC wearing their hat to the back and saggy pants, Brandy’s portrayal of Cinderella to Beyonce’s decree that yes, girls do run the world; ladies, the glass ceiling has been cracked. It’s your time to soar; the world awaits you!
Here are three things to remember as you move on to your next level of excellence:
- Stand Up for What You Know Is Right
- Live In Your Purpose
- Come Home
Standing up for what is right isn’t always easy. We fight against peer pressure, societal pressures influences from social media, celebrities and entertainers often times can be distracting, overwhelming and disappointing, leaving us with a false sense of hope. This is why it’s important for us to remember the things we learned in our younger years. Understanding right from wrong and having the courage to stand up for what you know is right, even if that means standing alone. In making difficult decision about your life or how to handle situations, remember the words of our former First Lady, Michelle Obama, “when they go low, we go high!” Taking the high road isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. It’s the perfect example of why we must stand up for what is right, even when others oppose us.
Everything that sounds good doesn’t come as easy as it seems. Living in your purpose is going to require hard-work, dedication and discipline. That’s right, homework matters. Homework is the equivalent of conditioning, training or practice. Practice makes perfect. The same applies to the brain. You have to practice to improve, learn and grow. The next chapter of your life is another training session that will be filled with new lessons to master, new obstacles to overcome. The years of high school and beyond will help you identify your purpose and equip you to live it.
Remember to come home! When you reach your senior year of high school, before you cross the threshold from childhood to young adulthood and embark upon your life after K -12, come back and empower the young girls who will be sitting where you are right now. Share with them your successes. Remind them of all the important lessons you’ve learned here at Ivy and how high school is about applying the skills and knowledge you’re practicing today. You also have a responsibility to come home. As you all look up to the adults in your lives; teachers, family, staff, organization members, etc., you too have someone who is watching you now. They are waiting to hear about your experience. They are rooting for your success!
It’s true, the world truly does await you. Pick up your pen, sign your name on the line that tells the world that greatest is on it’s way!
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.