Be Yourself … Because You Are You!

One of the things I like most about life is that if you take the right attitude, coupled with some spirituality, supportive friends, wisdom and knowledge (easier said than done!), we can get through a lot of things. Some of you may remember that I had mentioned a rather tough last week for me. Yes, it was one of those times when I had to put into effect some of the basic tools that I myself advocate through Educational Excellence’s platform. You know, the praying, meditation, working out, surrounding oneself with good people and staying focused on the blessings in life …. Amen!

Well, Monday’s meeting with Ms. Patricia Lesesne at the Broward County School Board went very well. I met this woman, a Harvard graduate, because of the relentless efforts and belief in me of one of the participants in an Anger Management Workshop I had had the pleasure of conducting with the Broward County Urban League’s Diversion Program directed by my good friend, Deru “Richie” Franks. This young man’s name is Francois Louis, senior at Plantation High School.

After sharing her program called Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders Project, Ms. Lesesne gave me an audience in the conference room. With so much going on nowadays, she had to be sure that what I was offering to share was genuine and fit in with the format of this Project, which came into existence after the School Board was notified that the Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders Project was one of twenty-four projects in the nation to be awarded the High School Graduation Initiative (HSGI) grant. “This grant will allow for the MTL model to be fully implemented at Boyd H. Anderson High School and Plantation High School – schools that met the USDOE guidelines for dropout rates. Through this grant, all students in both schools, males and females, are able to become an MTL participant.”

This all did not come about at the drop of a hat as most of you probably know. “During the 2007-2008 school year, concerned high school educators at Plantation High School, under the leadership of Amalia Pares-Pomerantz, formed a professional learning community to address the academic needs of African American male students.” “Through the diligence and tenacity of educator, Shirley Baker, Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders (MTL) was birthed.”

As a result of Francois’s youthful energy and Ms. Lesesne’s, (Francois former teacher), interest in including people like myself into such a valuable effort, we met, and shared ideas, which we plan to nurture into some workshops for both parents and students in the coming year. Thanks to both of you!

“I had gone through life thinking I was better than everyone else and at the same time, being afraid of everyone. I was afraid to be me.” – Dennis Wholey

May I accept the guidance of my Higher Power in developing a realistic and comfortable self-image. (TOUCHSTONES April 6)

Have a great day and rest of the week …. and be yourself!


John I. Cook, Director
Educational Excellence


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