Maria Chaney invited me and I agreed to be a part of the panel for the 1st Annual Girard Alumni Career Event as part of the mentoring program tonight.
The meeting is at my most dearest alma mater, Girard College. I love Girard. I graduated from GC in 1988, afterwards I graduated from Peirce Junior College, Morgan State and American Intercontinental but my heart is with Girard. I don’t got to Peirce, Morgan or AIU events but I support Girard every chance I get. I was honored to be invited to come and talk to the students at my first home away from home.
Maria mentioned the panelists will have roughly 5-8 minutes to talk. I’m so excited, I hope I can help the students see the world as I see it but what do I tell them?
The topic for the alumni panel will be; (Life after graduating Girard College High School; schools attended if any, and the careers you have now. Were there any significant changes to your career choice since your first position outside of school? Were there obstacles you had to overcome? How did your experience at Girard College help you in your career choice?)
Girard prepared me for diversity and adversity. My experience at GC helped me become a man and responsible a lot faster than if I was in public school. My classmates were my strongest supporters and motivators both directly and indirectly. As Lydell’s roommate, I watched how hard he worked, he wasn’t the smartest in our class but he was the hardest worker and our valedictorian.
Girard was previously all male, “Iron sharpens Iron“.
Being in an all male environment taught me to stand by my actions, move with integrity, and also somehow taught me to be innately driven. In my college life, I was never the smartest person but I was always watching the smart people. Taking the best examples from the best examples and applying those examples to my life.
In my career, I did the same thing. I always made the most of my position in life. I was always trying to make the best out of my situation by watching the people that were already in that situation. I didn’t and don’t let people convince me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t do something. I live to no ones limits…but that’s me. What would I tell a 17 year old me?! At 17, if you told me I would be an Advanced Scuba Diver or Vice President to a national organization and a business owner I would look at you like you’re crazy.
I really look forward to the question session, I hope to get some really hard questions, even some personal questions.
I’m struggling though, how do I prepare them for this flat world?! What I mean is…25 years ago the United States was my world, but now the U.S. is placed against the backdrop of the world stage. Meaning… our youth are competing against the youth of the world, where foreign students are multilingual and have a diverse understanding of economies and politics. I feel like our youth have unfortunately placed emphasis on sports and entertainment, we’re still the consumers and not the owners and decision makers. Minority college graduation rates are still significantly behind whites.
So I don’t know… I just hope I can reach them and stress how important and great their lives can be. I just want to kids to understand the importance of your decisions and how the can shape your life for better or worst.
“Being gifted or talented is great but it’s just a waste without the courage to use your gifts.”