The ABCS of Success
Speaking at the DLC Graduation Program
by Jackie Whitten, DNP, MSN, RN

I would like to thank and welcome all the parents, family, friends, Youth Empowerment Connection, Church of God ministry and thank God for the All-Star graduating class of 2016!

I’m honored, and thank the Lord for being your guest speaker tonight to share a few words of wisdom on my ABC Journey Book of life with Love. For the All-Star class of 2016 let me say: We love you and we are so proud of you!

All-Star according to the Oxford Dictionary means a member of an all-star group or team... and or composed wholly of out-standing performers, or graduates, such as our All-Star Class of 2016!

I would like to share a little bit of my life story and I hope it inspires you to continue to understand how blessed we are today. Yes, I am the daughter of hard working parents who have been married for over 49 years, 3 sisters and 4 brothers and a host of nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. Honestly, I consider myself blessed to be born in a family full of love and dysfunction that I totally embrace and love.

Without that combination of love and dysfunction I don’t think I would have been able to make the impact in life that I was afforded, thank God. I failed to listen. You know what I mean... disobedient, doing your own thing, just out there. Yes, I thought I was grown at a very young age and wanted to see the world! I’d look out the window and would say I wanted to be free. Not understanding that being free meant paying a dear price that would go down in history in my ABC Journey Book of Life with Love.

With life's hard knocks I have learned to appreciate all the things that I have been so kindly provided by God... Salvation, family, our church family, friends, happiness, love, education, careers, and the list goes on. I came to appreciate this more after experiencing a few lessons I want to share.

Before graduating from nursing school I worked as a truck driver, housekeeper, transporter, dietary worker, certified nursing attendant, secretary, and mail clerk. Muhammed Ali: said "I would have been the world’s greatest at whatever I did. If I were a garbage man, I’d be the world’s greatest garbage man! I’d pick up more garbage and faster than anyone has ever seen. To tell you the truth, I would have been the greatest at whatever I was called to do!" That’s exactly how I felt! No matter what you do, Be the greatest... be the best you can be! Practice saying in the mirror... God loves me, I am somebody, and I’m an All-Star!

The profound experience of:

  • Meeting people in the military who had no family at all (no body!),
  • Meeting people who hated me for the color of my skin and for standing up for Jesus
  • Meeting people who hate just because of a title or degree but don’t even understand it means nothing without God.
  • Going to third world countries and meeting children who value education and praying that some of our children would value it the same way!
  • Seeing what it’s like to walk miles and miles in other countries to have a seat at the table just to learn your beginning ABCs.
Just then, at that very moment, I realized the value to education, over and over again. Education opens doors for you, your family, and others. Some of you have parents praying for you to achieve a better education because they weren’t afforded the opportunity.

Now I would like to share my ABC Journey Book of life and Love. Let me take you to school...

A - At all times give thanks, for this pleases God. Learn while you are young to say thank you in the good times and bad times.
B - Be the change you see the world to be. Leave your fingerprint, make a positive difference.
C - Convert your thoughts to hopes - our forefathers put thoughts into actions. Don’t forget Brown vs the Board of Education. That was a landmark for ending racial segregation in schools. Value your education.
D - Demeanor. Your behavior and your conduct toward others should always represent Jesus. Treat others how you want to be treated. Show some Love.
E - Expect some obstacles on the way... An All Star named Michael Jordan said "Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it and walk around it. Make it happen."
F - Friendship! A great published author once said "It’s not how many people are in your life but who the people in your life are... that matters the most.”
G - Get God on your side! Validate and verify you are on the winning side.
H - Honor your mother and father!
I - Inspire someone else. A loving author stated “Your happiness will either inspire or enrage those looking on. inspire someone to be all they can be."
J - Thank you JESUS! Jesus loves me, this I know, for the bible tells me so.
K - Knowledge. The pursuit of knowledge is never ending, the day you stop learning is the day you stop growing.
L - You are a leader. Look at you! It’s not about a title or position. It’s all about the right attitude. You can be the next Mr. or Ms. Obama, Martin Luther King, Jr, Rosa Parks, Serena or Venus Williams.
M - Make every day count, be an All-Star!
N - Never be afraid to embrace academic excellence. Our children tend to shy away from math and science. Learn to love arithmetics and science. Embrace and love it, you can do it.
O - Optimism. Always be optimistic. Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence, so stay optimistic. You must have the right attitude.
P - Passion. A Christian author said “I don’t want it to be said I had a lot to say... but did very little to make a difference.”
Q - Take the word Quit out of your vocabulary and replace it with: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
R - Resilience! Never give up!
S - Strive for greatness. You were put on this earth to achieve your greatness, to live out your purpose with love. Keep saying it - God loves me, I am somebody, I am an All-Star!
T - Trust in the Lord and optimize on you talents. Every All-Star in here has a chance to attend college! Your all-star degree is waiting on you.
U - Understand the value of faith, communication, and helping others! Be able to put yourself in other people's shoes.
V - Victory to overcome the world is our faith.
W - Winner. Always see yourself as a winner, then you can perform like one.
X - X-ray your own life, be financially smart in order to set the foundation for your future.
Y - YOU are the light of the world.
Z - Be Zealous and remember you are an All-star! Remember this day! Say it: You are an All-Star. Don’t let yourself down!

Comments (1)

11.04.2016 - Sis. L. Brooks says:
Very inspirational!

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