Finally, time to sit down and share more details of my LovePrints mentor trip to White House and the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. I will try and make it short. I have been working with President Obama’s initiative My Brothers Keeper for the past two years, spawning LovePrints into action. My Brothers Keeper is about helping young people get on track, stay on track, and have support in doing so. For its 2nd anniversary, some of us were invited to the White House to celebrate the work. There would be a Stakeholders meeting and reception, with speakers from the Presidents cabinet, and several financial supporters of the initiative. Also present were mentees, and select mentors. Some spoke. We all shared. We shared stories of why we do what we do, for whom do we do it, and how we do it. As I have said, I am not sure why I got invited. But I was. Now, lets jump to my why I do this. Apparently, this is big. WHY?.
When asked who we do this for, my mind bounced like a ping pong ball in a tight cube. The name that came to mind was one. It was bright and glowing. It was so BOLD AND BRILLIANT. We asked to all call out the name of the person. For me, it was the person that I thought of the entire time I stood in the security line to be cleared to go in. It was the name that made me cry, because I wish that they could be with me. It made me smile because it would make them smile. It would be the person that this would have meant so much to.
It was mom.
To think that her boy was invited here. That her boy had done something, anything, worthy of being here, with Mayors, Govenors, Cabinet Members, and leaders. When the Secretary of Education asks for your thoughts, you probably should answer. Her boy who grew up just a few miles away from this place, who lived in its shadows, but never felt a part of it. Her boy was dressed up, fired up, and ready to go!
And then it hit me. I was there representing not only my mom, but my grandmother, my wife, daughter, family from one end to the other. I was representing Green Valley, Drew, Jackson, Swanson, and W-L. SMBC, JSR, and VCU. Every company that I ever worked for, and dreamed bigger than. Every friend that said that I was something, and those “friends” that thought that I was not. For every coach I ever had, every player that I ever knew, and every friends mom or dad who used their hands to lift, pull, raise, or elevate me. I was there. And proud. we were a part of the process. We were there to add to. We were there to add on.
I got to speak about each and everything and everyone in my previous two paragraphs. And they listened. They asked about mom, and my family, my old neighborhoods, and my new. I was asked about my old schools and new. They asked about my teacher friends, my teachers past, and what they were and want to be. I got to suggest ways to make the helpers happier and the path easier. I got to share your successes, and more importantly, your love. Hopefully, I spoke on your behalf. On your kids behalf. On our kids behalf.
I do not know why I was asked, other than saying that it was because of all of the people that i mentioned. I needed to share them all to these people, because they needed to know them. And they listened. They really did. And wanted to know more. And they shall. Because they asked.
Thank you mom. Thanks all of you. Thanks all of them. You were all there with me. And I sure would not have been there without you. As a matter of fact, I am sure that you were why I was there. Or anywhere else for that matter. Bravo, I applaud YOU.