I spoke at a high school two days ago and it changed my life forever. It was my first time speaking at a high school and I must admit I was very nervous. Speaking on domestic violence and my mother and brother's deaths in particular can be difficult, but I do it because hopefully it will inspire a student whose life either hangs on a life-line to hope or perhaps they need a boost of determination.
October 16, 2009
Dear Fitchburg Juniors and Seniors,
I read all 431 of your index cards. I must admit that while I was in tears, I was also full of joy. I was truly inspired by each card that you gave to me. It showed that you wanted to get rid of so much pain, sorrow, problems, issues, heartache and despair. I am glad that on that special day you decided to make a positive turn in your life. You did not have to write anything down, but you did. Today, I am glad to share your pain, your hopes and your dreams.
I will take these stories with me to Mississippi at the end of this month. As I told you, your stories will help me to prepare for the students in Mississippi who are facing similar problems you are facing. With your help, I will be able to help students help themselves by using their determination and hope to build upon their dreams. Thank you so much.
Some of you are going through the toughest times of your lives. You know that I am certainly with you. I have had those dark days of despair and absolute loss of hope. It is a life-long process and I am still going through the challenges of life. However, there is a huge difference now. I know how to channel my negative energy into positive energy. I surround myself with friends who care and will not lead me down the wrong path. I know that if I just hang on my hopes and dreams will be answered. As I told you, one of you, if not all of you will have your day in the spotlight. Folks will say, “That person went to Fitchburg High School, once counted out, but now they are successful.”
I encourage each one of you to reach out to a teacher, guidance counselor, coach, your principal and assistant principal. Find somebody you trust. They are there to lead you and guide you along the path of success. If you are having difficulty in school it is always best to let someone else know.
Remember, you are the captain of your future. You define who you are. You determine where you will be 5, 10 or 20 years from now. Think about your future and where you would like to be. You can do anything. I believe that “success is living it”. Whatever you want to be in the future, you have to practice that right now.
Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” That means that you have to start with you if there is going to be change. Once that happens, you will see the world change right before your eyes.
I really enjoyed my time with you at Fitchburg and I promise that I will never forget you. You changed my life. I tell everyone about you, the great questions you asked and the amazing stories you gave me.
If you wish to follow my BlogSpot, you may find me at www.kellibrew.blogspot.com. I try to blog weekly. I wish you all success and joy as you travel the road of life.
William Kellibrew IV