As educators we take on so many things. We learn how to multi task; grading papers, sending emails, disciplining that student that is on their cell phone 📲 (🙄🤔),hugging that student that you notice is having a bad, while making mental notes to contact parents, review that email that came through, and of course remembering to eat lunch.
I’ve been fortunate most of my career. One day I walked into class on my birthday to have balloons and other presents waiting for me. Another time I walked in to dinner. My students knew I was also in school, so they took it upon themselves to have dinner for all of us that night. Recently I attended an event and a young lady gestured for me to come near and shared I was her college professor some years ago. We hugged and she shared other sweet comments. I have been blessed.
I also have those students that become part of my family. They call me. They FaceTime me. They share a lot. As Anthony (my son says) they don’t hold back anything. We have special bonds.
These are the young people that inspire me. I have witnessed their struggles. I have listened to their happy moments. I have watched many cross the stage. I have been the recommender for many grad programs and employment opportunities.
I know that they will follow their hearts. They will push themselves. They will be there for my own son. Oftentimes we don’t know the impact we make on people, or the impact they might have on you!
Mr. Julian is one of those that Anthony considers his brother. We have adopted him into our family and words cannot express how proud I am of him. He strives high. He remains focused. He excels even when things becomes difficult. And he does it all with a smile and his two thumbs up (👍🏾 👍🏾)! From the first time I met him his freshmen year until post graduation, his spirit, his friendly demeanor, and his earnest pursuit to be his best has been observed.
I’m privy to receiving notifications of his successes and this is instrumental because my own 16 year old has him and so many others as his mentor. Although #ThisThingCalledLife happens and we do fall short sometimes and experience hardships, what is most important is recognizing the need to keep walking your journey. We often focus too much on the negative and fail to teach our young people that life happens…. even when it means using that “motherly” tone to remind them to remain humble, focused, and centered.
Life is filled with good people who are motivated just for selfish reasons, but it’s also filled with good people who understand passing it forward. Julian is the person that gives selflessly. Im truly blessed to have so many like him in my corner. As a young 20-something year old male, he along with others who are graduating, promoting positivity, volunteering directly and indirectly should be highlighted!
There has always been limited positive minority males in our media and those that are are educated are looked upon as an anomaly. Let’s embrace those that are being accepted to grad programs, following their pursuit of happiness, while making every effort to give back!
Kudos to my young son!
He shares a bit of his story to encourage other young men to “fight that good fight.”
Dear Ms. Davis,
For the last the couple of years I was not motivated. I graduated and I felt as if I was just waking up and going to work without a plan.
After I graduated, I didn’t have a plan and had no idea what I wanted to do. I had no jobs lined up for me. Luckily, I found a job within about a month at warehouse that paid decent where I’ve been ever since I was working there.
My grandmother, who was the cornerstone of the family passed away a little over four years ago. Her passing really hit home for me. I wasn’t comfortable telling people how I felt at the time. So instead, I started drinking to suppress my feelings.
I was not focused on school after she passed so my grades were pretty bad that semester. When the semester ended, you asked me to come speak with you (Kiera Vargas). I still remember that conversation. In a nut shell, you told me to get shit together. To this day, I don’t remember having a more impactful conversation with anyone else because the conversation was about more than just than school.
So when I am going through hard times or get frustrated about life, I say “Fight the good fight” to myself to remind myself to refocus, remain as level headed as possible, and push through.
Well, my short goal is to complete grad school and find a career utilizing the knowledge I gained. A long term goal of mine is to start a program that involves assisting the youth with depression. I vision having them come and work on cars. Studies have shown that in recent years, the number of youth dealing with symptoms of depression between the ages of 10-18, and even college students, has increased. This idea came to me a little while back when I was thinking about what I wanted to do that would involve youth and young adults dealing with depression.
I’ve been a car person for just about my whole life and stated working on them in college when my parts on my car needed to be replaced. Since I didn’t have the money to take it to the shop, I would go a salvage yard or a pull-a-part and replace the parts myself or with the help of a friend. Once I got comfortable working on my own car, I would work on other students cars to bring in a little extra money
The ability to help others and to do something I enjoyed doing has always been satisfying. So I was thinking to myself one day, why not do what I enjoy and do something that good help the youth in my community.
I am proud of you. I have been so amazed at how tough you are. I look forward to hearing about your milestones; whether good or bad. You are learning important things about life.
When you share such, you inspire Anthony. You give me hope. You inspire him. And you talk yourself though those tough situations.
As you begin this new journey at Hampton University, I want you to remember just how smart, and how extraordinary you are to so many around you!
You know I love Oprah and a quote from her that I believe will resonate for you is:
“You can see yourself as a wave in the ocean or you can see yourself as the ocean.”
Keep pushing, smiling, and understanding that life happens, but you are always in control! And yes, I will always be here to “encourage you with the use of my fine words” because we all need those reminders!
One of your favorite cheerleaders!!!