Sometimes, all it takes is one hour – out of one school day – to make a difference in someone's life… including your very own!
Whether it means choosing between right or wrong, good or bad, quitting or completing , there comes a time in your life that you must make that decision.
This was the message that Dedham Middle School Principal Debra Gately wanted to convey to her 7th and 8th grade students recently, at an early morning assembly, featuring guest motivational speaker Ed Walker.
Walker, a Boston native, came from a tough Mission Hill neighborhood, and his family (a Mom and 7 siblings) always had very little. To keep him from continuously getting caught up in the streets, his older brother made Ed always come along and play basketball.
Jokingly, Walker later told the crowd of over 400 students and teachers… “I didn't even like basketball, at all… but I played so much, I got good – real good."
After a short, well put together documentary about his life and background, Ed Walker trotted out on to the DMS stage. “How ya'll doin' … are you with me … yes or yes.”
From that moment on, Ed Walker took control of the room. He explained a bit about his troubled youth and run-ins with the law. His love of music, led Walker to a self-shortened career as a “rapper.”
But, it was his ability to play basketball and be a team player, that opened doors for the young man.
President of his senior class at Charlestown High, Walker chose Bates College in Lewiston, ME to continue his education, concentrating in English.
After graduation, Mr. Walker founded his own company called I.C.E. (Independent Consultants of Education).
The main goal of I.C.E. is to assist any individual or group, seeking educational advancement.
Since 2008, I.C.E. also conducts college preparatory workshops, to help high school students prepare for and continue their education.
Ed Walker's strength however, is his ability to “talk” – to capture and hold a crowd.
Time after time, he reinforced to these middle school students that they are already successful, each and every one of them, just by being needed by someone else.
He explained that they are all “good enough” to accomplish anything they put their minds to. The auditorium sat motionless – almost impossible at a middle school – as Ed Walker explained “living with a purpose” and “building your philosophy on a foundation of no excuses.”
Ultimately, it was the birth of Ed Walkers two daughters, that led to his decision of helping others achieve their goals.
So, from the hundreds of 12-14 year old boys and girls at the Dedham Middle School - “Thank You” to the PTO for funding this assembly and to Principal Gately for having the wisdom and insight to have chosen the perfect man to get these positive points across.