20 minutes & 300 Ninth Graders

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 7.13.10 AMIn a few short weeks I get the opportunity to share the stage with our pastor in front of a group of INCOMING 9th graders at our local high school. For 20 minutes, I will have the opportunity to share my story and inspire them. Tough crowd, I know. But it’s going to be INSANE!

Many of them have been told they will never amount to anything.
They will never grow out of their families current cycle of poverty.
They will never go to college.
They will never be someone.

They have never been told they have a team rooting for them.
That they can do the impossible.

I speak to students every week but sharing in a school/Ted Talk type environment is different and a little nerve-racking. So as I gather my thoughts I think back to when I was in 9th grade…

When I was in 9th grade:

  • I had a bowl cut, which took my friends giving me a “How I Met Your Mother” style intervention for me to finally move past.
  • I was focused on girls and what was for lunch.
  • I was fighting the dream I felt God had put inside of me.
  • I was trying to figure out how to survive high school.

So for me, as I put myself in their shoes and if someone came and talked to me for 20 minutes on the second day of school, what do I wish NOW they would have told me? We had numerous assemblies and speakers come to our school and I don’t remember a word they ever said.

What about this can be different? What do I wish I knew then that I know now? 

That’s where I need your help. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were beginning 9th grade?

Here’s mine:

  • It’s okay to dream.
  • It’s okay to fail.
  • Finding joy in a career is more important that what degree you achieve, job title you possess, or even salary you receive.
  • You can change the world and make a difference, but be okay with the journey looking nothing like you thought it would.
  • Your life will not always go the way you planed and that’s okay.
  • Give your life away and you will never go with out.

Let me know yours…


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