When 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.
James A. McKithen III