JamesMcKithenIIIBWhen I joined the Young Men of Honor’s Pro­gram, I had no idea that I would have so much fun, and learn so many won­der­ful things.  I thought that it was going to be another bor­ing babysit­ting pro­gram so I came with a lit­tle resis­tance.  I quickly learned what it was like to be a respon­si­ble and pro­duc­tive young man.  Mrs. Jack­son made learn­ing a real­ity to me.  We would talk about things that hap­pened in his­tory and things that would shape me into the great young man I am today.  We would read and learn then we would take a road trip to make it come alive to us.  In the Sum­mer we would go to so many won­der­ful states like, Atlanta, Wash­ing­ton, Florida, Alabama and the list goes on.  We got incen­tives if we per­se­vered to stay or make the honor or high honor roll.  I kept doing it for the incen­tives but then I real­ized that it really wasn’t that hard after all.  I thing that was the whole point she was try­ing to make after all.

I started this pro­gram when I was in the third grade. I was on the honor roll at my school but my teach­ers insisted that I was a trou­ble maker because I would fin­ish all my work, geet it tight, and run around to help some­one else. Now I knew that I prob­a­bly should have stayed in my seat, but I was so bored and had noth­ing else to do.  The teacher told my mother some­thing needed to be done with me or get me checked. My mother spoke with Mrs. Jack­son and told her the sit­u­a­tion. I never for­got over hear­ing Mrs. Jack­son say “Don’t’ let them put him on meds; I believe he just needs to be chal­lenged.”  So, they came up with a plan that after I fin­ish all my work to have more ready but on a higher level.  It worked! I stayed in my seat, and the worked got more chal­leng­ing for me which kept me seated. I did well after that until I got to mid­dle school and I mad a few mis­takes there. Mrs. Jack­son never gave up on me.  Mrs. Jack­son had my pas­tor pray for me, hooked me up with a men­tor, and now I am in the 12th grade. I will be march­ing with the 2014 class of new Hamp­stead High School in Savan­nah, Geor­gia.  That will be a very proud moment not only for me but for my whole fam­ily and the many peo­ple that never gave up on me.

I met so many won­der­ful lead­ers that came out to speak with us week after week; I real­ize that lis­ten­ing at them gave me the abil­ity to focus on my goals.  I am thank­ful for all the giants, espe­cially Mr. Anthony James for allow­ing me to stand upon their shoul­ders and reach for the stars.  Mr. James and his wife lis­tened to my many sto­ries that I had writ­ten and encour­aged me to keep writ­ing.  I am so glad that I was not cast aside, and given up on.  I believe that I am an eagle, and I will soar high until I reach my des­tiny.  Thank you so much for all lessons learned.

Thanks,

James A. McK­ithen III

Jan­u­ary 2014