Lessons Learned

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  • It’s graduation season and time to salute students moving on to another phase of life.

    Over the years, I can’t even count how many commencement ceremonies I’ve participated in. The idea, of course, is to provide words of encouragement and even to give the students what’s called a charge — a responsibility, a duty or an obligation to carry out.  Well, this year, I’m the one who had something to learn from three very special graduates. 

    Our first recipient of the Tom Joyner Full-Ride Scholar Award, Britney Wilson, graduated last week from Howard University in D.C.  The English major is heading to law school with a 4.0 grade point average. Britney describes herself as black, female and disabled — and she hasn’t let either of those three labels hold her back. In fact, she says, “You have to know that you can do anything you can put your mind to.”

    There are so many excuses for not being successful, and people like Britney prove that if there’s a will, there’s a way. She didn’t accept an all-expenses-paid, four-year-college education and do the minimum to get by. In fact, she went beyond what many might have done in her position. Born with cerebral palsy, Britney walks assisted with arm braces and sometimes travelled around campus in a Hoveround. She had every reason in the world to miss class. If you’ve ever been on Howard’s campus, you know that it’s not easy to get around if you’re without physical challenges, so imagine how difficult it had to be at times for Britney. Not only was she a stellar student; she was president of the English society, a columnist for the campus newspaper and an advocate for the school’s physically challenged. She let her creative side shine through as a writer and poet and even was featured on the HBO series “Russell Simmons Presents: Brave New Voices.”

    When Britney was chosen as a full-ride scholarship winner, we had no idea that she would make us as proud as she did.  She has set the bar, not just for other students, but for everyone, including me.  We should never allow our circumstances to define us or our abilities.  We should wake up every morning not worrying about what we can’t do, but dreaming of new ways to accomplish what we can do. 

    My grand-daughter Griffen walked across the kindergarten stage this month and is on her way to first grade. She has her whole life in front of her, and we do too, no matter what age we are.  Already, she works hard and plays harder. Her mind is wide open to new things, and she meets every challenge with enthusiasm. If we all approached life like Griffen does, we’d be better parents, employees, spouses, bosses, church members, etc. We should look at every day as an adventure and take it on with all we’ve got.

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    6 thoughts on “Lessons Learned

    1. Hi, visited your site before, but I can not say I’ve come across while surfing the internet, and now we get to see the information I needed. First of all thank you for it. Other than that I am adding your web site and post your favorites uses then be my chance to follow in an orderly manner. mynet sohbet mynet mynet sohbet mynet sohbet mynet sohbet mynet sohbet mynet sohbet sohbet chat sohbet odaları istanbul sohbet sohbet sitesi sohbet chat yonja sohbet cam sohbet limewire indir mirc mirc indir mynet evliya limewire limewire indir kameralı sohbet sohbet odaları film izle sinema izle erotik film izle Because of maturity in your writing and knowledge content, thank you again and good luck. Though not very good at this kind of foreign language issues I’m chasing a little more development. So sorry. : )

    2. Morehouse is an institution that Morehouse men support. What’s the problem with the Class President, the Administrative President, the Governor, Julian Bond, whomever would consider it a privilege to inspire HBC success.

    3. social sciences, physical sciences, biological living sciences. the one that is the most difficult makes the most money–physical sciences. the one that has cellular–can help you live healthy and long: anatomy&physiology. But social sciences:psychology, law, logic, philosophy–with the individual as the singular elementary component is running things–law to stay out of entrapment. SPIRITUAL, ECONOMIC, PHYSICAL, INTELLECTUAL, EMOTIONAL just to start learning. What are the kids going to do? The adults barely know. write on Tom Joyner, anniversaries&graduations rock!

    4. The world is unforgiving . Education is extremely expensive ,lack of it is disastrous , Youngsters are forced to pick a career prior to getting a post secondary education . My advice is to research World Wide Tends , interview senior managers in industry that attracts you . Do Your home aorf

    5. Tom I have been a fan of your station for many years. I’ve listened to you talk about how much HBCUs mean to you and all that you do. I am a parent of a Morehouse 2012 and we were left without a commencement speaker. You left us hanging, I realize your scholar didn’t make the cut but what about the others that did! You had no words for them. Good luck to you!

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