CityWILD River Rendezvous 2014
What an absolutely fantastic evening at the CityWILD Fundraiser for Inner-City youth. It was such a pleasure to work with an amazing group of young people along with those people that support them. In addition, meeting Dr. Carolyn Finney was such a pleasure and this is an incredible woman that I feel has so much to say, and so many good ideas on how to change the world.
I was also extremely blessed to have a few of my friends attend the event, and I appreciate more than words can say their involvement in being there for me in something that I find so important. I don’t think enough is said about the effect that people can have on you, by simply supporting you. Definitely need to keep that in mind going forward.
For those that were there, it was a real pleasure to see Jamal, Anna and Lisa speak on the big stage, and they really made an impression on the crowd. And they are the key reasons that we believe that we can make a difference in these young people’s lives. They have many disadvantages before them, but boy, do they ever fight to break out of stereotypical norms and fight to move forward with their own personal power.
I take a look at a guy like Jamal, and where he is heading in life, and my heart swells with pride…. and trepidation. You see, he has survived some amazing challenges in life, and will continue to do so. However, when I talk with him and hear his positive outlook, he’s steely direction, and his desire to be amazing, he encourages me in my own life.
Let’s be realistic, I’ve lived a pretty charmed life. Born into an amazing time, my father worked for the space program, my mother stayed home with us and worked with us on our homework, and encouraging us to live positively. I was intelligent, and motivated, and graduated from high school early, and college at exactly the right time. I then went into the technology field and had an amazing 23 year career that paid well and allowed me to travel the world, and raise my own family with little financial difficulty.
Jamal’s father passed away a few years ago. His mother works hard to support the family and his grandmother assists in encouraging Jamal to go to college and do amazing things. But Jamal is certainly not “Advantaged” in the sense that as a youth of color, he will deal with covert and overt racism, he will deal with socio-economic disadvantages, and he will deal with his own past that can either drive him or stall him. I believe it will drive him. You see, he has an incredible leadership power, that will make him indespensible in many organizations.
More next week…