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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Next Chapter Starrah…!

May 2012, Beachwood Hilton

Now we’re in the Next Chapter of the Starrah Life and all I can say is…. We Have OPTIONS! Yes!

I got a phone call in May from one of my friends, who happen to be one of my old high school teachers, Ms. Watson. We still keep in touch and over the years I’d been a speaker at her “College and Readiness Program (2005-08’). This program gave students an open forum to voice their concerns about college and how to utilize their resources in high school and beyond. When I picked up the phone she said, “I’ve got an opportunity for you. Are you available to speak at our workshop for the Teaching Professions Academy?” I agreed and was obliged to join this event. One thing I encourage is to be ready. Now my energy is racing because I got so much to say to these young people, especially since this is geared towards motivating them to teach.

I had only 3 days to get prepared for my workshop, which was 40 minutes long. I figured I’d leave some time for Q&A because I know they’ll have questions. I made my handmade note cards for my presentation and started thinking about what I wanted them to walk away with.  My goals were: to empower these young people and let them see a true example of success.  I didn’t question why I was allotted this opportunity and where this could go for me.  All I knew was I only got one chance to leave a lasting impression.  This was big for me because the conference was held at the Beachwood Hilton Hotel.  Not many people get the chance to stay at the Hilton let alone speak there. 

When I arrived I saw posters and collages the students made.  I was impressed because the students of Collinwood High School, Teaching Professions Academy put this whole conference together.  The event was called: “Rock The Future… Teach.” It was a luncheon too.  I thought I was doing 1 big workshop, but to my surprise I was doing 3 (40 minute) workshops.  Talk about being abundantly ready.  Once the students got settled in they ate some breakfast and I was blown away by the turnout.  There were various ethnicities present, which is great because I’m all about diversity.  I had another surprise too because I thought I was speaking in the big conference room.  Nope, I got my own workshop room complete with chairs tables, water, & peppermints.  Wow! I get my own room and it’s on my terms, definitely a Starrah moment. 

I gave a lot of useful advice & encouragement to these young people as they embark into various adversities in their lives. Whether it’s graduating from high school, to the importance of maintaining good grades, and why it’s so important to treat people right. The highlight for me was having the students come up and tell me that I made them think about some of their decisions differently.  As a motivator it’s a great feeling to know I made an effective change in someone’s life. I wouldn’t be where I am today had it not been for my mentors and role models that enabled me to dream big.  The principal of Collinwood, Ms. Brown was impressed by my presentation; she even sat in on my last workshop session. She said, “It’s so important for our young people to see POSITIVE black males doing well in their lives.”  I embraced that because her validation was vital.

As the day came to a close I felt honored, to be so young and have done something people twice my age may never get the chance to do. I lived out my dream, being a motivational speaker to young people. If I never get that opportunity again, at least I checked it off my bucket list. I am THANKFUL for picking up the phone and accepting my destiny. I remember saying how good it is to have an open schedule that didn’t involve work. Yes I miss working, but I’m maintaining and utilizing this time to create new options for my brand. It feels damn good to have choices as to where I want my life to go and the direction I want to go in. Most people wait to make these decisions later on in life, but I get to do it now without any pressure. 

The lesson I want everyone to know is: ‘You never know who’s thinking of you.” It’s so important to treat everyone RIGHT and with RESPECT because you don’t know what projects their working on.  You don’t know the power position they can be blessed with. For example, that friend you’re cool with in college may become the next big film director, or CEO of a business corporation and just because of your good character they may offer you a job. Had I not done great motivational talks with Ms. Watson’s students years prior, she may not have had me in mind for this big workshop event. However, she did and that is another notch under my belt and boost to my career. A special Thank You to the Collinwood High School students, staff, & Principal Brown for inviting me to the “Rock The Future… Teach Luncheon. I had an amazing time. To Ms. Watson, we got more things to accomplish with these young people. Thanks for keeping me in mind and continuing to follow & support my career.

In such a short span of time I’m in awe that this happened to me. Just a few months ago I lost my job and was finding my way. Now my purpose is attracting itself to me. I never gave up and during this time I set out bigger goals for myself. I am going to be my OWN BOSS and open up job opportunities for others to shine. I embrace the fact that I am example of DETERMINATION. Things in life happen for a reason and each of us gets our season to BLOSSOM. That’s why I’m in my blooming phase right now.

Starrahs are you doing all that you can to boost your career? Or are you missing out because you’re too complacent to explore your OPTIONS? Networking and speaking your manifested life into existence is a great start towards the IDEAL life you deserve.

Stay Connected,

Willie J

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Posted by on June 9, 2012 in On The Move Starrah©