Stop Front’n and Start Work’n!
Working with youth is certainly a passion that burns deep in my soul. There’s something that I appreciate about sharing my personal childhood experiences and playing the “compare and contrast” game to learn about the very people who I attempt to encourage.
I simply enjoy helping those who remind me of myself. The ones who are directly or indirectly facing poverty or belonging to a household with a single parent because mom or dad are incarcerated, or simply not handling parenting duties. The ones who have family members and/or close friends who lives have been shortened due to senseless acts of violence. The list can go on forever about the various situations that young people face. The most important thing is encouraging young people to get over those obstacles and start working towards their goals immediately.
A friend called me up last night and asked me if I would be willing to speak to teenagers within the Teen Media Academy Summer of Opportunity program. Without hesitation, I said yes, (My comfort level of randomly speaking to large crowds is quite phenomenal)! I am always willing to accept opportunities to work with the future of the world! When I arrived, I was pleased to present myself to a group of students who expressed great interest in the topic, “Stop Front’n and Start Work’n”.
Utilizing two great books in Hip Hop culture, “Guaranteed Success: When You Never Give Up” by Percy “Master P” Miller AND “Do You: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success” by Russell Simmons with Chris Morrow, created a sense of pride amongst the young people as they heard stories from the superstars’ past. Similar stories to their current situations!
The dialogue centered several topics:
- How Our Attitude Determines Our Success
(Analyzing the 7 Attitudes of Success by Percy Miller)
- How Will I Determine What MY Success Will Be?
(Turning Passion into A Career and Becoming Successful)
- Striving to Accomplish My Goals by Working Hard
( Analyzing the poem, “I’ll Reach My Goals Without A Doubt by R. Smith)
-Overcoming Obstacles and Controlling my Surroundings So MY Future Wont Be In Jeopardy
( Familiarizing yourself with your past and present and how to overcome negativities)
During the end of the discussion one student, who I referred to as the M.V.P. (she asked tons of questions and answered almost every question asked) said, “I wish there were more people like you” as she refereed to my style of instruction and how sincere I was about talking of the realities young people in urban communities face and the encouraging words and facts that can help young people overcome. M.V.P.’s comment was truly an inspiration and the interest amongst the students gave me a sense of hope that there’s still chance to beat the brutal statistics!
Thanks to several poems and books, I was able to convey a positive message to the ones who matter the most, the Youngins!