2017 MATC Scholars Program: Mr. Kevin Jones
Mr. Kevin Jones, Transportation Specialist for the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Founder/President of the North Carolina based BAC Scholarship Fund, discusses his "Success in Grad School and BEYOND". For more information, please visit http://matc.unl.edu/education/scholars-program2017.php.
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[00:00:00.691]Alright, while we wait for the rest of everybody
[00:00:03.489]to get in here, I just want to share this video
[00:00:05.140]just to give them a few more minutes to get in.
[00:00:07.289]Celebrate life (voice echoes).
[00:00:08.743]During February, we're honoring four outstanding
[00:00:11.842]young people who are making a difference in our community.
[00:00:14.362]WRAL's Mikaya Thurmond introduces us
[00:00:16.042]to a Rocky Mountain native who has raised
[00:00:17.784]thousands of dollars to help students pay for college.
[00:00:23.769]28-year old Kevin Jones launched
[00:00:25.268]the BAC Scholarship Fund three years ago.
[00:00:28.448]The non-profit provides scholarship and mentorship
[00:00:31.559]to dozens of graduating high school students
[00:00:34.157]in Eastern North Carolina.
[00:00:41.250]It takes a lot of energy, time,
[00:00:43.109]and commitment to raise $21,000.
[00:00:46.387]Money is a hard thing to come by.
[00:00:48.341]Would you do all that work
[00:00:49.590]only to give it away to teenagers?
[00:00:51.492]Well, that would leave many scratching their heads.
[00:00:55.030]That's unless you are Kevin Jones, who awards that money
[00:00:58.322]to make sure that low-income students can afford college.
[00:01:01.594]Hey, how are you doing?
[00:01:02.951]The inspiration for his
[00:01:04.545]one-man education initiative started years ago
[00:01:07.728]with his own personal struggle.
[00:01:09.940]Not only did I become a teen parent
[00:01:12.138]before I even finished my first semester of college,
[00:01:14.868]but my Dad lost his job which narrowed
[00:01:17.417]the household income down to one.
[00:01:19.391]Jones' experience made him determined
[00:01:21.451]to make a difference, so he started BAC Scholarship Fund
[00:01:25.525]and went on the hunt for star students
[00:01:27.982]in financial need, like Patrick Battle.
[00:01:30.452]I'm the first person who got to a four-year university
[00:01:32.290]for my family, so that's the first question.
[00:01:35.538]After you get accepted, it's like okay,
[00:01:37.541]"How are we gonna pay for this?"
[00:01:38.591]The uncertainty of
[00:01:39.592]Battle's question was daunting.
[00:01:41.943]Thankfully, Jones became the answer,
[00:01:44.082]giving the high school senior more than $1,200
[00:01:46.993]to finance his first year in college.
[00:01:49.545]He opened so many doors for me,
[00:01:50.963]I can't even thank him enough.
[00:01:53.297]So that's my mentor, that's the guy who had me
[00:01:55.720]all straight, who made me as sharp as I am right now.
[00:01:58.510]Battle is now one
[00:01:59.680]of 20 other scholarship recipients.
[00:02:02.010]While Jones is proud of that number,
[00:02:04.010]he has a bigger goal in sight.
[00:02:06.300]It is very humbling, but it sort of
[00:02:08.320]fuels me to look for that next child.
[00:02:10.784]And it's because of his passion,
[00:02:12.323]which continues to create opportunities
[00:02:14.180]for the next generation that we honor Kevin Jones
[00:02:17.222]with WRAL's 2017 Celebrating Black History Month Award.
[00:02:21.735]This is great.
[00:02:22.620]Mikaya Thurmond, WRAL News, Nash County.
[00:02:26.840]This year Jones hopes to raise $20,000
[00:02:29.037]which will allow him to award even more scholarships.
[00:02:31.644]For more information on his program
[00:02:33.182]or to see our other nominees go to WRAL.com
[00:02:36.027]and search Black History.
[00:02:37.716]We'll share these inspiring stories
[00:02:39.086]every Friday at 5:30 on WRAL.
[00:02:41.693]You can also watch our Celebrating Black History Reports
[00:02:44.087]in our 10:30 half-hour on Fox 50.
[00:02:55.421](video audio playing)
[00:02:58.908]We didn't come here to watch the news, right?
[00:03:02.636]So I gotta.
[00:03:06.703]Here we go.
[00:03:12.653]All right, so.
[00:03:15.319]Success in Grad School and Beyond,
[00:03:17.856]that's why we're here.
[00:03:18.689]And one thing that I really did not like when I was coming
[00:03:20.431]through school is success sort of worked it's way
[00:03:22.979]into becoming some dry, mundane topic.
[00:03:25.992]It sort of made you not even want to be successful
[00:03:28.049]'cause you get people up here just to talk for an hour
[00:03:31.144]and no excitement, so I need a little energy from you.
[00:03:33.341]So I'm gonna say,
[00:03:35.687]"Oh, what up, y'all?"
[00:03:37.582]And you all respond, "Oh, what up, Kev?"
All right, I need the energy.
[00:03:42.574]You already got it, everybody got it?
[00:03:45.469]Oh, what up, y'all?!
[00:03:46.815]Oh, what up, Kev?!
[00:03:51.846]Success in Grad School and Beyond,
[00:03:54.228]so Dr. Jones, Dr. Perkins, Dr. Rilett,
[00:03:58.329]I really appreciate the opportunity to be here.
[00:04:01.005]This is a fantastic program that will yield
[00:04:03.647]just so many benefits in the future for all of the students.
[00:04:06.919]To the students, not long ago I was in your seat
[00:04:09.508]'cause I was competing for opportunities.
[00:04:11.246]I know what it's like to have to beat people out.
[00:04:14.456]And quite frankly, there are students at your universities
[00:04:17.269]who wanted to be here today and they're not,
[00:04:19.408]and you are.
[00:04:20.527]And that's something to be proud of so lick your fingers
[00:04:22.645]right quick and just give yourselves a round of applause.
[00:04:25.192](students applaud and cheer)
[00:04:36.041]Who am I?
[00:04:37.614]Of course, you heard the bio, which is more
[00:04:39.541]of an elevator speech, no it's more of the highlights.
[00:04:42.550]But I feel like to really get to the substance
[00:04:44.533]of a good discussion, I want to give you
[00:04:46.178]a little bit more about myself.
[00:04:48.545]So first thing's first, if you're looking for somebody who
[00:04:50.802]had it all together in college,
[00:04:51.980]if you're looking for somebody who has some rigid,
[00:04:54.123]regimented 10-point plan what they follow to a T,
[00:04:57.031]if you're looking for somebody who was part of
[00:04:59.021]dozens of organizations on campus and SGA President,
[00:05:02.190]if you're looking for somebody with a PhD,
[00:05:04.190]that's not me, so you will be disappointed.
[00:05:09.551]My childhood was great.
[00:05:11.683]I had a great childhood,
[00:05:13.195]two-parent household, by the grace of God.
[00:05:16.144]Eventually my sister came along.
[00:05:18.435]As you can see, I didn't have a problem eating.
[00:05:20.072]I was a little chunky.
[00:05:21.480]But the reality is is that
[00:05:23.837]there were plenty of times, well, sometimes,
[00:05:25.481]I won't say plenty, but there were sometimes when all we had
[00:05:27.652]to eat was hot dogs and beans and Spam sandwiches.
[00:05:30.149]Anybody ever have Spam sandwiches?
Yeah, right here.
[00:05:33.091]That's it, that's it with the mayonnaise and yeah.
[00:05:36.842]So as you can see, I didn't stop eating.
I was weighing in at about,
[00:05:41.744]I was weighing in about 5'2", 185 pounds.
[00:05:47.909]This was about 12, age 12, so what happened was
[00:05:49.707]I started taking an interest in girls, right?
[00:05:51.983]Like middle school, but girls weren't taking
[00:05:54.540]an interest in me.
[00:05:56.104]So what I did was, I've always been a good researcher
[00:05:59.204]so I researched the market, I researched the demand,
[00:06:01.613]and girls in early 2000s,
[00:06:04.275]The girls in early 2000s, they were looking for
[00:06:06.263]the little Bow Wow prototype, right?
[00:06:08.525]That's what they were going after.
[00:06:09.983]So with the help of puberty, I slimmed down a little bit.
[00:06:14.172]I grew my hair out, and I'm talking little Bow Wow,
[00:06:16.644]not the Instagram, you know in coach class,
[00:06:20.255]you know, it's not like, not that Bow Wow.
[00:06:23.105]In high school, I was an athlete with track and football,
[00:06:26.234]which was the extent to which my extracurriculars went.
[00:06:29.380]I had a sense of humor.
[00:06:30.213]That's me dressed up like Mr. Brown in high school
[00:06:33.712]from the Medea Place.
[00:06:36.894]After that it was on to college.
[00:06:38.894]I was a first-generation college student.
[00:06:41.594]I had a few older cousins who were maybe 20 years
[00:06:43.528]my senior who went on to school before me,
[00:06:45.953]but I was the first in a long time,
[00:06:47.532]and one of few out of maybe like 25, 30 maybe grandkids.
[00:06:51.758]It was a big time.
[00:06:53.790]Everything was going great until about three months into
[00:06:56.479]my freshman year when I got a call from my girlfriend
[00:06:59.992]saying, "I'm pregnant."
[00:07:01.606]And it hit me like a ton of bricks.
[00:07:03.529]As you can see, I didn't even know how to make my bed
[00:07:05.494]on the top bunk, so let alone knowing how to raise
[00:07:08.748]an entire human being, right?
[00:07:11.996]What did I do?
[00:07:14.110]One thing I knew, I didn't know what the future had
[00:07:15.976]after I got this news, but I knew that I had to be
[00:07:18.628]in my daughter's life.
[00:07:20.347]I know too many people who evade their responsibility
[00:07:23.756]as a father and that couldn't be me.
[00:07:26.101]I did what I thought was best at the time.
[00:07:27.960]And really what was best at the time.
[00:07:29.162]I dropped out of school.
[00:07:31.007]And so I packed up into my freshman year
[00:07:32.965]and I went to be a Dad.
[00:07:34.956]And so that's my little girl the day she was born,
[00:07:39.261]and having a Kevin kid really changed me.
[00:07:42.240]It really changed me.
[00:07:45.215]But as I got into parenthood, I realized that
[00:07:48.589]there were things that I needed school to do.
[00:07:51.370]School was a tool.
[00:07:52.203]I needed to get back into school.
[00:07:53.479]And so that's another one when she was a little older.
[00:07:56.238]And that's the Fidda hat.
[00:07:57.264]Fidda hats are so out of style now, right?
[00:07:58.990]And the do-rag, right?
[00:08:02.149]Nonetheless I got back into school
[00:08:04.395]and I ended up going to North Carolina A&T State University.
[00:08:08.036]And my declared major, my declared major was engineering,
[00:08:12.674]but my real major was partying,
as you can tell.
[00:08:16.504]And so this is in Cooper Hall for the Aggies,
[00:08:18.794]that's my room in Cooper Hall.
[00:08:23.301]And I took partying so seriously
[00:08:25.091]I even got a job working at the club.
[00:08:28.160]So from Wednesday to Sunday literally
[00:08:31.595]I was at Jab's Ultra Bar, Highpoint Road, working.
[00:08:35.738]And that's now a parking lot, so I really feel old
[00:08:37.683]when I go to Greensboro now.
[00:08:39.800]All of my hard work in the party scene,
[00:08:41.908]led me to a 1.7 GPA.
[00:08:44.706]Yeah, I know.
[00:08:45.539]It was actually like a 1.6 something,
[00:08:47.196]but I like rounding up.
[00:08:48.391](students laugh loudly)
[00:08:53.032]But what that did is it (stammers),
[00:08:56.470]I was three semesters into school
[00:08:58.035]and I got a letter from A&T saying that,
[00:09:02.151]"Hey, you can't come back."
[00:09:04.718]I flunked out of school.
[00:09:06.183]And unless I had $10,000, $12,000 laying around
[00:09:08.868]they would take it and I can go fail all I want.
[00:09:11.718]But I didn't have the money.
[00:09:13.181]But I got out pen and paper, I told you I like rounding up,
[00:09:15.977]so I'm good with numbers.
[00:09:16.810]So I got out pen and paper and I figured that
[00:09:19.569]I needed two classes over the summer
[00:09:21.460]to get to a 2.0, which would get me back
[00:09:23.119]in satisfactory academic standing.
[00:09:25.821]So I would work 18 hour days.
[00:09:28.697]I was a waiter at a seafood restaurant and
[00:09:31.387]stocked Trails Of Hair overnight,
[00:09:33.884]for the entire first session of summer school.
[00:09:36.778]So I saved the money up just in time in order to get
[00:09:39.213]the money, pay the school, take the classes, I got the As.
[00:09:43.230]But then when grades were posted,
[00:09:44.689]I told you I like rounding up, so.
[00:09:47.040]I didn't have a 2.0, I had a 1.96.
[00:09:50.693]So I called over to Dowdy,
[00:09:52.340]all the AGs now that Dowdy's the financial aid building,
[00:09:55.354]called over to Dowdy and I'm like,
[00:09:56.743]'cause I hadn't told my parents,
[00:09:57.994]I hadn't told girlfriend, I hadn't told nobody.
[00:10:00.617]I wouldn't have told God if he didn't already know,
'cause I was so
[00:10:03.760]disappointed in myself.
[00:10:05.269]So 1.96, I called, put my nice professional voice on,
[00:10:09.431]as good as anybody could do at the age of,
[00:10:11.637]I think I was 20 at the time.
[00:10:13.016]But, man I was like, what can I do?
[00:10:15.710]They said, "Well we don't know what you gonna do,
[00:10:17.977]"but we can't let you in, like we don't round up.
[00:10:19.657]"You round up, we don't round up, 1.96 is what it is."
[00:10:25.905]They said, "One last thing you can do.
[00:10:28.432]"You can come to Greensboro, you can make an appointment
[00:10:30.615]"with financial aid review board
[00:10:32.023]"and you can please your case."
[00:10:33.936]So the longest two and a half hour drive I've ever made.
[00:10:36.636]I made it, I sat there.
[00:10:38.621]I sat before five women, I'll never forget it.
[00:10:42.368]I pleaded my case.
[00:10:43.455]And it got emotional, I let, I even let a tear drop.
[00:10:46.463]It was a gangster tear drop.
It was, it wasn't,
[00:10:49.797]it was a gangster, but it fell.
[00:10:52.405]And luckily enough they let me back in.
[00:10:56.062]the mop bucket, the mop bucket.
[00:10:57.283]A very vivid memory I have of my parents.
[00:10:59.450]They fell on hard times one time,
[00:11:00.586]both of them lost their job.
[00:11:01.803]My mom was pregnant with my sister.
[00:11:03.475]And they had to clean a neighborhood laundry mat
[00:11:06.267]to keep the lights on.
[00:11:08.230]So they had to get me out of bed at 10 o'clock
[00:11:10.727]whenever the laundry mat closed.
[00:11:12.507]And they had to lay me on, if anybody's ever used
[00:11:15.299]a laundry mat back in the day there was these,
[00:11:17.418]tall, long folding tables.
[00:11:19.960]They're hard plastic, they were ugly, yellow or off white.
[00:11:22.948]So I would lay on that and I watch my dad take out the trash
[00:11:26.343]and clean out the dryers.
[00:11:28.039]I watched my mom sweep and mop the floors,
[00:11:30.198]pregnant with my sister.
[00:11:32.231]So I realized that once I got this next chance,
[00:11:35.362]once I got my second chance at A&T
[00:11:37.725]I decided to be on the straight and narrow,
[00:11:39.231]because I knew just how close I come to mopping floors.
[00:11:43.250]And don't get me wrong, I have a family.
[00:11:45.350]Nothing wrong, mopping floors is not beneath me.
[00:11:47.016]If the only thing between my family and meal
[00:11:50.635]is a mop and a bucket, I'm mopping the hell
[00:11:51.951]out of some floors and nobody's gonna mop better than me.
[00:11:56.054]To have to mop floors because my poor decision making
[00:11:58.667]was a disrespect to my parents and the sacrifices they made.
[00:12:01.987]And so I made sure that I never
[00:12:04.151]had to mop floors due to my poor decision making.
[00:12:06.997]So that led to an internship three semesters later
[00:12:10.119]after being on the straight and narrow,
[00:12:11.323]with Department of Transportation.
[00:12:13.036]It was the best 10 weeks ever.
[00:12:15.544]I learned so much.
[00:12:16.866]And I even was offered a federal job
[00:12:20.472]before I graduated from A&T.
[00:12:22.606]And so I moved up to DC, lived out of my aunt's basement,
[00:12:25.736]cut some deal with some professors
[00:12:26.983]to let me take lecture classes
[00:12:29.617]online and submit my work online.
[00:12:32.739]And I was able, before even I graduated from college,
[00:12:35.352]I had health benefits for my little girl.
[00:12:37.511]And that was just something, you know, I needed to do.
[00:12:40.281]And I was fortunate enough to do.
[00:12:42.103]So I graduated.
[00:12:43.089]Aggies, your day is coming like this.
[00:12:47.655]That's a picture of me and my parents at graduation.
[00:12:50.877]And then after graduation
[00:12:52.877]I got sent to Lincoln, Nebraska
[00:12:55.356]to work with the, to continue working
[00:12:57.330]with the US Department of Transportation.
[00:12:59.910]And since Nebraska, my life has taken off.
[00:13:02.957]Well since really being employed, because
[00:13:05.926]I've had so many opportunities I've taken advantage of.
[00:13:08.220]I've worked on some amazing projects,
[00:13:09.883]I've worked with even better people.
[00:13:12.538]So this is me in the former transportation
[00:13:14.775]secretary, Anthony Fox.
[00:13:16.713]This is me with Congressman John Lewis at an event
[00:13:18.907]at DOT where I was among others recognized.
[00:13:22.193]And this is me at the White House
[00:13:23.628]when I was recognized for my work in transportation.
[00:13:26.570]And this is with Shaun Donovan who is a former,
[00:13:29.266]I think he was the HUD director,
[00:13:30.240]but he was director of O&B when this picture was taken,
[00:13:33.398]special assistant to the President Obama.
[00:13:35.919]This is me and Senator Tim Cain.
[00:13:38.191]And this is a cool picture because it shows me on the left
[00:13:40.639]as an intern on a field trip at the Capital,
[00:13:43.788]and then six years later almost to the day when I
[00:13:46.254]took my intern to the Capital.
[00:13:48.954]And it's the same North Carolina statue and everything,
[00:13:51.248]but it really just captures
[00:13:53.414]the growth that I've had in the last six years.
[00:13:56.475]And it wasn't Forrest Gump,
[00:13:57.593]now that we're not strangers anymore.
[00:14:00.985]Who wants to be successful, show of hands?
[00:14:03.564]All right good, hands down.
[00:14:05.247]Now this is gonna move fast, 'cause we're short on time
[00:14:07.122]and I got a lot of content, so have your pen and paper out,
[00:14:09.191]any questions you want to ask, we're gonna get to those.
[00:14:11.211]But this is gonna go faster than your first refund check.
[00:14:15.807]So I was talking to professor of mine,
[00:14:18.494]well former professor,
[00:14:20.066]and she's been in academia for decades.
[00:14:22.617]She has a PhD, and I asked her
[00:14:24.238]I said, "What's the difference
[00:14:25.077]"between an average grad school student
[00:14:26.462]"and an exceptional grad school student?"
[00:14:28.624]And I thought it was thought-provoking.
[00:14:29.535]I thought that it would be something
[00:14:30.697]she would have to ponder, even with all of her intelligence.
[00:14:33.163]But she, without even missing a beat she said,
[00:14:35.197]"I'll tell you, I picture like two mountains.
[00:14:37.149]"You have Mount College and you have Mount Professional.
[00:14:40.650]"Average grad school students,
[00:14:42.427]"their approach to grad school is as if they're
[00:14:45.163]"still climbing Mount College."
[00:14:47.489]And she said, "The exceptional students,
[00:14:49.896]"they know that grad school
[00:14:52.277]"puts them at the base of Mount Professional."
[00:14:55.956]And it was (audio skips) 'cause it's true.
[00:14:58.991]And so as I'm digesting that, then she just lays it on me
[00:15:01.839]she said, "I'm gonna tell you this.
[00:15:04.049]"Average grad school students do,
[00:15:06.212]"they succeed in grad school.
[00:15:08.046]"But exceptional grad school students,
[00:15:10.133]"they succeed in life."
[00:15:13.025]That's what this is now, Mount College the minute
[00:15:15.955]you graduate with your bachelors, you are done with college.
[00:15:20.464]Grad school is not a continuation of college, it's not.
[00:15:24.168]You got to change how you look at it.
[00:15:27.375]It's Mount Professional,
[00:15:28.923]a much harder mountain to scale,
[00:15:31.047]there are plenty of sides to go up.
[00:15:33.239]But if you go up the grad school side,
[00:15:36.009]you're on Mount Professional and you need
[00:15:37.457]to approach it as such.
[00:15:39.590]So I'm a Redskins fan, I'm a sports guy.
[00:15:41.096]I have a lot of sports connections in here.
[00:15:43.491]I'm a Redskins fan.
[00:15:45.053]And as much as this pains me, learn from RG3.
[00:15:49.645]Learn from Reggie Bush.
[00:15:51.210]Now what did they do, anybody that knows anything
[00:15:52.442]about football, these are two of the greatest
[00:15:54.564]football players of our lifetime.
[00:15:57.743]Statistically, emotionally, just did everything.
[00:16:04.952]What can you learn from these two?
[00:16:06.504]What you learn from them is that
[00:16:08.471]in college they were the top of their class.
[00:16:10.155]They ran circles around the competition.
[00:16:12.027]There was nobody, literally nobody greater.
[00:16:13.715]We all saw the Heisman Trophy yesterday.
[00:16:16.130]I mean you know what that looks like on the field,
[00:16:18.087]they were great.
[00:16:22.018]Despite being at the top of their class in college,
[00:16:24.526]they didn't make the adjustment
[00:16:26.233]once they got into the professional,
[00:16:28.016]realm of the professional spectrum.
[00:16:30.827]And when you don't make the adjustment
[00:16:33.519]and you think you can run circles around competition
[00:16:34.983]the way you did in college,
[00:16:36.646]in the professional world this is what happens,
[00:16:38.017]you get a headache.
[00:16:40.035]You get a headache.
[00:16:42.389]Or this happens, like it happened to Reggie Bush.
[00:16:45.202]Because here's the thing, I told you earlier,
[00:16:46.830]you beat out some of your classmates to be here today.
[00:16:49.672]But the reality is
[00:16:51.587]you beat your classmates out.
[00:16:53.360]What does that mean to them?
[00:16:54.704]That means they may be disappointed.
[00:16:57.675]They call mom, dad, uncle, favorite cousins say,
[00:16:59.728]"Hey you know what?
[00:17:01.461]"I didn't get it, I can't go."
[00:17:05.905]Or they get to spend more time partying.
[00:17:08.115]Or hanging out with their friends.
[00:17:10.029]But when you get in the professional,
[00:17:11.709]along the professional spectrum,
[00:17:13.928]when you get an opportunity that somebody else doesn't get
[00:17:16.852]and they're shooting for,
[00:17:18.066]that means a lot of times your promotion
[00:17:19.819]is somebody else's demotion.
[00:17:21.824]And what that means is that,
[00:17:23.621]when you get promoted and me and you in the same company,
[00:17:26.449]your promotion means I can't take my wife on vacation.
[00:17:29.984]It means I can't take my kids to Disney World.
[00:17:32.047]And I'm not gonna let you mess up my trip to Disney World.
[00:17:34.352]So they hit harder.
[00:17:37.004]It's more competitive, they move faster
[00:17:38.361]and you got to make the adjustment.
[00:17:41.143]This is RG3 and his dad.
[00:17:43.447]This is RG3 and his dad when the RG3 accepted
[00:17:46.210]his first professional job.
[00:17:47.928]This is dad watching him at practice.
[00:17:50.134]This is dad in front of the water cooler.
[00:17:51.998]This is dad talking to the supervisor, and this is bad.
[00:17:56.466]There is no reason and this happens,
[00:17:58.459]if it didn't happen I wouldn't be talking to you about it.
[00:18:00.524]There is no reason
[00:18:02.165]your mom, dad, favorite uncle, cousin, sister, anybody
[00:18:07.241]in your family should be contacting
[00:18:10.094]anybody along your professional spectrum
[00:18:12.677]and your professional career.
[00:18:16.277]If you die, an email maybe will suffice.
[00:18:19.622]But other than that, there's no reason.
[00:18:21.827]And it happens, you'd be surprised.
[00:18:22.975]And especially as millennials.
[00:18:24.541]There are very few ways to
[00:18:27.440]just discredit yourself quicker in the professional world
[00:18:29.696]than to have a parent contact the supervisor,
[00:18:32.124]or a sister or anybody.
[00:18:34.224]Nobody should be speaking up for you because
[00:18:36.332]the happy times will turn to
[00:18:38.971]you being sidelined with a smug on your face.
[00:18:42.436]And then you'll be asked to leave.
[00:18:45.350]You'll be asked to leave.
[00:18:48.279]You're an adult.
[00:18:49.845]The minute you go across that stage with your bachelors
[00:18:52.673]you are a professional, whether you go into the workforce,
[00:18:55.442]whether you go into grad school.
[00:18:57.280]No matter what you do, you're a professional.
[00:18:59.325]You're an adult, this is where your family belongs.
[00:19:00.955]This is where dad and mom and sister belong,
[00:19:02.423]on the sidelines,
[00:19:03.761]but watching you when you do good,
[00:19:05.137]pick you up when you do bad.
[00:19:07.540]So I'm gonna give you a few things that matter,
[00:19:09.834]but first I want to give you some things that don't matter
[00:19:11.749]when it comes to success in grad school and beyond.
[00:19:14.939]Success along this professional spectrum.
[00:19:17.767]So where you went to school.
[00:19:19.291]So growing up in North Carolina there are,
[00:19:21.521]three large public institutions that
[00:19:25.188]it's a common misconception that unless you go
[00:19:27.186]to these three large public institutions in the state,
[00:19:30.048]your degree means a little less.
[00:19:33.694]Your preparation for the real world,
[00:19:36.300]to contribute to the world is a little bit diminished
[00:19:39.099]if you don't go to these schools.
[00:19:40.640]A&T is not one of these schools.
[00:19:43.659]But what I realized, and I struggled with this
[00:19:45.972]and I don't want you to struggle with it,
[00:19:47.674]because a lot of you go to small schools.
[00:19:49.139]And your school is not the biggest school
[00:19:50.502]in the state that you go to school in.
[00:19:52.350]That's safe to say.
[00:19:53.506]So here's the thing.
[00:19:55.051]If you find yourself in a room
[00:19:57.361]with Ivy League, with PhDs,
[00:20:00.307]with three PhDs in one person, whatever.
[00:20:04.201]If you find yourself in a room or in a project,
[00:20:06.368]because it's gonna happen.
[00:20:07.247]You're gonna be entry level.
[00:20:08.297]You're gonna be at the bottom of the totem pole very soon.
[00:20:11.523]And what that means is,
[00:20:13.536]you're gonna be the most
[00:20:16.063]undocumented accomplished person in the room.
[00:20:19.644]But you can't let that intimidate you.
[00:20:20.642]There are gonna be people who are from Ivy Leagues
[00:20:22.443]or from very prestigious schools, puff their chest out,
[00:20:24.792]use words, whatever, whatever.
[00:20:26.337]But if you're in the room with them you can contribute
[00:20:28.911]and you're expected to perform and expected to produce.
[00:20:32.424]It's up to you whether you do it or not.
[00:20:34.506]Because the opportunity will be there.
[00:20:36.844]Who knows who this is?
[00:20:40.000]You took too long.
[00:20:41.417]But you know his dad, right?
[00:20:45.124]Who knows who that is?
[00:20:48.919]But you know his son, right?
[00:20:51.735]Everybody knows, especially the girls,
[00:20:52.697]the girls know his son, huh?
[00:20:55.418]So again, growing up,
[00:20:57.121]you know I thought that because
[00:20:59.433]I had working class parents,
[00:21:01.700]because I didn't come from a family of doctors
[00:21:03.300]and lawyers and engineers,
[00:21:04.811]that my level of success was capped off, it had a ceiling.
[00:21:09.302]That's what I thought.
[00:21:10.157]And I really thought that
[00:21:12.937]through much of college.
[00:21:15.740]your family background, who your daddy is,
[00:21:18.082]who your momma is, whatever your family looks like
[00:21:20.834]it doesn't matter anymore.
[00:21:22.614]Your family can not
[00:21:24.393]support you enough or hold you back enough from
[00:21:28.636]what you want to do.
[00:21:29.679]It's not an excuse.
[00:21:31.191]Even if you come from wealthy, successful,
[00:21:33.218]very well established network of parents,
[00:21:35.798]it doesn't matter.
[00:21:37.229]What it took for them to get where they are,
[00:21:39.860]they can't pass that to you and they can't buy it.
[00:21:42.295]You got you got to go or you don't.
[00:21:44.404]And so you got to make sure you don't let
[00:21:46.704]your family background determine your success.
[00:21:50.475]And just for the record these are two people
[00:21:52.421]who knew their dads very little if at all,
[00:21:54.147]President Obama and Secretary Anthony Fox.
[00:21:57.265]And they turned out pretty well.
[00:21:59.860]And I look at it like tulips.
[00:22:01.049]So I look at ultimate success like a tulip.
[00:22:03.737]So more or less,
[00:22:05.896]two ways to get a tulip.
[00:22:06.983]From a tulip bulb or a tulip seed.
[00:22:10.407]I'm no horticulture expect, I'm keeping this
[00:22:11.611]very basic, very plain.
[00:22:13.527]Okay, bulbs you put them in the ground,
[00:22:15.982]cover them with dirt, give them water and sunlight.
[00:22:18.223]In about a year you have a tulip.
[00:22:20.572]With seeds though, you put them in the ground,
[00:22:22.847]cover them dirt, give them water, give them sunlight.
[00:22:26.945]After a year, you won't have anything.
[00:22:28.809]After two years you won't have much.
[00:22:30.924]It takes up to three years sometimes
[00:22:31.854]for tulip seeds to turn into tulips.
[00:22:33.941]Because the roots have to set,
[00:22:35.406]again I'm not even gonna even embarrass myself
[00:22:37.106]trying to be a horticulturist.
[00:22:38.395]But the thing is is that
[00:22:41.976]we all know the tulip bulb.
[00:22:43.715]Some of you may be tulip bulbs, nothing wrong with that.
[00:22:46.021]Right, you're a little more developed,
[00:22:47.397]you're a little more polished,
[00:22:48.491]you're a little more prepared to compete.
[00:22:50.760]But we have some seeds in the room, too.
[00:22:52.579]And you need to be okay with being a seed.
[00:22:54.486]You need to own, the speaker yesterday mentioned owning,
[00:22:57.188]own everything, own being a seed.
[00:22:58.849]It doesn't mean you won't reach ultimate success,
[00:23:00.835]it just means it'll take a little longer
[00:23:02.662]for you to get there, but you will still bloom
[00:23:04.127]in the same exact way
[00:23:07.245]as the bulbs.
[00:23:08.777]And the beauty of it is, is that
[00:23:10.769]'cause I was a seed, a first generation student.
[00:23:13.175]My parents grew up in DC.
[00:23:15.761]I was born in DC.
[00:23:18.225]And they moved there, quick back story,
[00:23:19.562]just 'cause the crime was so bad in the early '90s,
[00:23:21.924]they moved to North Carolina just to give
[00:23:23.568]a better life to me.
[00:23:24.944]But working in the federal government
[00:23:26.455]was like a mystery to my parents.
[00:23:27.892]I mean like my dad cried, literally cried
[00:23:30.687]when I told him I got an internship
[00:23:32.261]with the federal government.
[00:23:33.630]Because being in DC it means, he knew people
[00:23:35.881]of course he knew people, but it was a mystery.
[00:23:37.924]So the thing is that I was a seed in many respects.
[00:23:40.767]But every bulb started from a seed.
[00:23:43.249]And so if you are not a bulb,
[00:23:45.497]there again if you are a bulb, perfect.
[00:23:47.532]You have a great, I mean you're gonna do well.
[00:23:49.751]But if you're not a bulb and you're a seed,
[00:23:51.500]it's your job to put the work in underground,
[00:23:54.240]so that your kids, your grandkids,
[00:23:56.220]your nieces and nephews, kids you don't even know,
[00:23:59.217]so that they can have that bulb start that you didn't have.
[00:24:04.458]Major key alert.
[00:24:08.291]Secure the bag alert.
[00:24:10.263](students laugh and chatter)
[00:24:12.912]All right so I need a volunteer,
[00:24:14.042]I'm gonna point somebody out if you don't
[00:24:15.247]hurry up and get up.
[00:24:16.642]All right, let me get you right here.
[00:24:18.930]You got something right there. (laughs)
[00:24:24.526]All right I need one more volunteer to just stand
[00:24:27.079]sort of, wait,
[00:24:30.872]You can get right there at the end.
[00:24:32.256]All right, so.
[00:24:33.708]Here's the thing.
[00:24:35.197]Your dream job, what is it?
[00:24:38.261]Dream job, come on throw one at me.
[00:24:39.094]I know you think about it at night, come on.
[00:24:42.793]Civil engineer officer in the air force.
[00:24:44.684]Civil engineer, okay.
[00:24:48.245]Amber is everything you could ever want in civil engineer.
[00:24:53.988]Okay, so I want you to stand here.
[00:24:56.907]And I'm gonna stand here.
[00:24:59.016]Now when I say go, you're gonna walk
[00:25:01.509]to everything you want in civil engineer.
[00:25:04.537]Along the way, we're gonna hook arms
[00:25:07.079]and we're gonna walk together.
You got that?
All right let's go.
[00:25:15.090]All right, we reached there, right?
[00:25:16.617]Now go back to your spot.
[00:25:18.928]Strong man, you lift weights, huh?
[00:25:21.177]I just wanted it that bad.
[00:25:22.396]All right, so.
[00:25:23.664]Now do the same thing.
[00:25:24.571]Same thing and when I say go, we're gonna hook arms.
[00:25:27.080]All right, go.
[00:25:29.893]Hey, what's up man, what's up how you doing?
How's it going?
[00:25:34.082]How you doing, yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:25:35.418]All right, so good job.
[00:25:39.522]What was different between the first time
[00:25:40.638]and the second time?
[00:25:43.132]The first time he didn't have resistance,
[00:25:44.650]the second time he did.
[00:25:46.972]And so what do you think that means?
[00:25:49.298]There's gonna be challenges
[00:25:50.144]that you have to push through.
[00:25:51.371]Nah, nah, nah.
[00:25:52.359]That's true, but that's not what I was going for.
[00:25:55.183]What do you think?
[00:25:56.016]Sometimes you're gonna have people
[00:25:57.663]along the way (voice fades off microphone).
[00:26:04.756]Right, all right, well.
[00:26:08.115]What I want you to get from this is,
[00:26:10.360]as you're going towards your goals and your dreams,
[00:26:13.640]you have to be very intentional about who you walk with.
[00:26:17.666]Because the first time,
[00:26:19.871]because when he and I walked together the first time,
[00:26:23.675]when we walk together anytime,
[00:26:25.876]one of two things are gonna happen.
[00:26:28.250]It's scientifically proven, there's no other,
[00:26:30.586]other than two outcomes.
[00:26:32.168]Either I'm gonna adjust to his pace,
[00:26:33.471]or he's gonna adjust to mine.
[00:26:35.690]And when we were walking together the first time,
[00:26:37.925]he put the
[00:26:40.184]70 pound curl bicep on me and just started dragging me,
[00:26:44.264]but I adjusted to his pace.
[00:26:45.583]But the second time I held him up.
[00:26:47.334]And the thing is when you walk across the stage
[00:26:49.539]and you're going off to your dreams,
[00:26:50.756]whether it be grade school, whether it be workforce,
[00:26:52.487]whether it be whatever,
[00:26:53.439]you're going towards something.
[00:26:55.965]You're not gonna be the only one going towards it.
[00:26:57.706]There are plenty of other people going towards it.
[00:26:59.776]And if you let people, if you hook up with people
[00:27:01.965]and the one thing I was hoping you would say is that
[00:27:04.229]he choose to connect with me.
[00:27:07.072]He hooked up with me.
[00:27:09.013]I didn't hook up with him.
[00:27:10.854]All right, so when you're walking
[00:27:12.095]you got to be very intentional about who you walk with.
[00:27:13.937]Because the last thing you can afford to do
[00:27:15.934]was to be slowed down.
[00:27:18.801]So flashback Friday, this is throwback picture
[00:27:21.081]of every single one of us in the room.
[00:27:24.359]And this is us, this is us right here.
[00:27:28.652]So we talk about odds, we talk about you know,
[00:27:32.719]we get your bachelors and then you get your masters
[00:27:35.351]and that'll sort of increase the odds
[00:27:36.861]of you gaining employment and
[00:27:40.447]success in your industry.
[00:27:42.314]Or you get your PhD and increase the odds
[00:27:43.898]and if you have a certain amount of tenacity
[00:27:46.181]and grit and everything else it increases.
[00:27:49.539]On that magical night when mom and dad got together,
[00:27:51.260]we're old enough to know about
[00:27:52.093]the birds and the bees, right?
[00:27:55.084]In more than like 300 million, 400 million options
[00:27:58.519]in the womb.
[00:28:00.133]That uncle that has too much to drink at the cookouts
[00:28:03.367]and gets slumped over like,
[00:28:04.859]that's your dad's brother, he has those genes, too.
[00:28:07.251]That was an option.
[00:28:09.414]But what happened is, you made it.
[00:28:12.003]One in 400 million.
[00:28:13.690]You'll never have those odds to overcome again.
[00:28:15.965]So don't let anything stop you from getting discouraged
[00:28:18.843]or keep you from starting.
[00:28:23.928]It's very easy to get caught up
[00:28:28.023]in this guy, this girl.
[00:28:29.987]You know she's on Snapchat, she's on IG.
[00:28:32.471]You know, hashtag carrots, you know.
[00:28:36.557]And here you are you know, with more under the surface
[00:28:40.270]and it doesn't appear that you have much.
[00:28:43.056]And here homegirl is getting all the likes.
[00:28:45.968]You know, everybody sliding her, dinging in her inbox.
[00:28:49.680]But it's easy to look at that and feel like
[00:28:51.904]you're not doing enough.
[00:28:53.013]Because you can't see what's beneath the surface.
[00:28:56.602]Don't get caught up in that,
[00:28:58.035]because it'll throw you off.
[00:28:59.542]And you will start comparing yourself to fall standards.
[00:29:03.281]And you will start comparing your play by play,
[00:29:05.335]your practices, your bumps, your bruises,
[00:29:06.908]the people's Sports Center highlights.
[00:29:09.150]And it's not something that's even conducive to success.
[00:29:12.848]So who knows who this is?
[00:29:15.085](students answer crosstalking)
[00:29:19.423]Now who knows who, okay so there's Jay Z on the left.
[00:29:22.323]Who knows who's on the right?
[00:29:25.808]No, see you took too long.
[00:29:27.696]Okay, so everybody knows, everybody wants
[00:29:30.757]a level of success like Jay Z has in their industry.
[00:29:34.022]Whatever the equivalent is in your industry
[00:29:35.602]in your desired field, owning the team.
[00:29:38.530]You know having
[00:29:39.997]an amazingly successful spouse.
[00:29:42.173]Having a, you know,
[00:29:44.391]an international artist, all of that.
[00:29:46.316]Everybody wants Jay Z's success in their industry.
[00:29:49.150]But few people know that before he was
[00:29:51.521]on the run with Beyonce,
[00:29:54.033]he was on Big Daddy Kane's Chocolate City Tour.
[00:29:57.324]Now you can fact check me, you can do the homework.
[00:29:59.980]But what happened is, Big Daddy Kane was,
[00:30:02.779]he was international,
[00:30:04.433]he was top of the Billboards,
[00:30:06.103]he was very popular.
[00:30:07.597]He was everything you would want to be as a rap artist
[00:30:09.998]in late '80s, early '90s.
[00:30:12.493]He had a rap tour.
[00:30:14.131]He was from New York, he had a rap tour.
[00:30:17.377]Jay Z was some kid in New York
[00:30:19.699]who carried his bags to and from the bus.
[00:30:22.891]Carried his bags.
[00:30:24.053]And Big Daddy Kane was a flamboyant performer.
[00:30:26.982]He was sort of the perfect mix between like
[00:30:28.837]hip hop and R&B.
[00:30:30.899]So he would change outfits during his sets.
[00:30:33.946]And what happened was,
[00:30:35.554]sometimes Jay Z got so good at carrying bags,
[00:30:38.169]that he would let Jay Z rap for the crowd,
[00:30:40.555]while he went and changed clothes with the dancers.
[00:30:43.025]Who knows who this is?
[00:30:44.500](students answer off microphone)
[00:30:46.783]You know who that is, right?
[00:30:47.657]Yeah President Obama.
[00:30:49.445]Now look at the picture of these two guys that I found.
[00:30:52.882]So that's Cam Newton on the sideline,
[00:30:56.289]helmet nowhere in sight.
[00:30:57.455]He ain't even gonna smell the field in this picture.
[00:31:00.794]He's backing up Tim Tebow,
[00:31:02.445]Heisman winning quarterback.
[00:31:03.960]Cam Newton was backing him up.
[00:31:06.298]If you look here during Hurricane Katrina,
[00:31:09.643]all the important people were asked to come
[00:31:11.954]and shake hands and kiss babies and to give people hope.
[00:31:15.350]Not Obama, he wasn't asked to do that,
[00:31:16.774]he's holding a jacket.
[00:31:21.281]So what does that mean?
[00:31:23.290]You can't waste the journey.
[00:31:24.487]Whatever you want to be, your ideal version of success,
[00:31:29.065]you're not gonna get it next year.
[00:31:30.497]I hate to break it to you, it's not gonna happen.
[00:31:33.013]You're not gonna get it the year after that.
[00:31:34.369]And I'm talking about your idea.
[00:31:35.364]I'm not talking goals along the way.
[00:31:37.351]I'm talking the ultimate success, you won't reach it.
[00:31:39.865]There's a journey attached to what you want.
[00:31:43.219]What I want you to remember is that
[00:31:45.645]in order to be a
[00:31:48.833]future hall of fame quarterback, in order to be
[00:31:51.559]Jay Z, or have his level of success,
[00:31:53.381]in order to be the president,
[00:31:55.290]there are things along your journey
[00:31:58.301]that you will not pick up, that you will not get
[00:32:02.065]unless you're willing to carry bags and hold jackets.
[00:32:05.152]You got to do it.
[00:32:06.768]Who knows who this is?
[00:32:08.887]Lil' Kim right?
[00:32:12.681]Who knows who that is?
[00:32:14.517]Cardi B, absolutely.
[00:32:17.203]Nothing new under the sun.
[00:32:18.769]It's very easy as a grad school student,
[00:32:21.223]you know you start to get six figures or get your PhD,
[00:32:24.727]whatever, it's easy to think that
[00:32:28.903]the sugar honey iced tea.
[00:32:31.100]It's easy to think that.
[00:32:34.388]nothing new under the sun.
[00:32:35.706]Cardi B.'s rise, her rise has been very similar
[00:32:39.207]to watching Nicki Minaj's rise.
[00:32:41.017]And I know Nicki Minaj's rise because I was in Greensboro
[00:32:43.573]when she was working at a shoe store.
[00:32:44.796]Again you can fact check me, I'm not giving
[00:32:46.011]you anything false.
[00:32:47.735]She was working at a shoe store in Greensboro
[00:32:49.888]less than 10 years, well maybe a little,
[00:32:51.485]right at 10 years ago.
[00:32:52.582]She was working with a guy named Fendi,
[00:32:54.229]who really put her on.
[00:32:55.805]And she took off.
[00:32:57.732]And before that it was Lil' Kim.
[00:32:59.386]And before all the sting leaders back here,
[00:33:02.383]Pam Greer started all of it.
[00:33:09.489]So here's the thing.
[00:33:10.454]You have to be a student of your success.
[00:33:13.113]Because there are too many, there's too short of time
[00:33:15.509]and too many mistakes that can be made
[00:33:17.227]if you don't study what has made people successful
[00:33:19.720]and what has made people fail.
[00:33:22.964]So I have a picture of some feet.
[00:33:26.490](students comment off microphone)
[00:33:29.596]Yeah, anybody's feet look like this?
[00:33:33.308]Now who do you think these feet belong to?
[00:33:40.615]A prima ballerina.
[00:33:41.896]In your industry, as you set your goals and you study
[00:33:45.217]and you become a student of the game, so to speak,
[00:33:47.776]you're gonna identify with these prima ballerinas.
[00:33:49.911]Now a prima ballerina is a top ballerina in the world.
[00:33:53.003]All little ballerinas want to grow up
[00:33:54.363]and be prima ballerinas.
[00:33:56.585]And no different from how you are gonna identify people
[00:33:58.591]that you want to be like and emulate
[00:34:00.074]and have similar success to.
[00:34:01.989]But the thing is there are plenty of people
[00:34:03.584]who reach their goals and reach their level of success
[00:34:07.836]and they never know the cost of that success.
[00:34:10.821]They never know what the feet look like.
[00:34:12.408]Now I'm not telling you to look at your
[00:34:14.303]favorite doctor or professor's feet.
[00:34:16.637]But what I'm telling you is have a conversation,
[00:34:18.592]read a book, look at YouTube.
[00:34:20.972]Because if you don't know the cost of success
[00:34:22.993]you're gonna be ill prepared
[00:34:24.827]for the success that you're chasing.
[00:34:26.653]You have to, have to know the cost of success.
[00:34:29.555]So Emmitt Smith, Peyton Manning,
[00:34:31.409]Brett Favre, Jay Rice.
[00:34:33.272]Now for those of you who don't know football,
[00:34:35.399]you know that the purpose of any game is to do what?
[00:34:39.906]We'll win, you're taking it far man,
[00:34:41.896]you just gonna win the game first.
[00:34:43.464]But to win the game.
[00:34:44.628]Now football, how do you win a game?
Score the most points.
[00:34:48.671]Putting points on the board.
[00:34:49.824]Putting points on the board.
[00:34:51.297]So for those of you who don't know,
[00:34:53.735]Emmitt Smith running the ball,
[00:34:54.882]one of the all time leading scores.
[00:34:56.923]You get six points for each touchdown,
[00:34:59.045]whether you pass it or you throw it.
[00:35:00.993]But none of these guys are the leading scores
[00:35:02.347]in all of football.
[00:35:03.942]This is your guy.
[00:35:05.016]All time leading score in the NFL, Morten Andersen.
[00:35:07.554]He's a kicker.
[00:35:08.951]He's a kicker.
[00:35:10.145]And if you thought Emmitt Smith or Brett Favre,
[00:35:13.086]or any, Tom Brady was anywhere near Morten Andersen
[00:35:16.962]you're wrong, 'because he's number one.
[00:35:18.613]Two to about 27, 28 are kickers, too.
[00:35:21.617]And actually we learned yesterday in my group
[00:35:23.388]that the all time leading scorer for
[00:35:25.287]the University of Nebraska, is a walk on kicker.
[00:35:28.499]What is that important?
[00:35:30.481]It's important because where you're going
[00:35:33.150]you're going to the pros, right?
[00:35:34.252]I'm gonna keep saying you're going into
[00:35:36.114]the professional realm, along the professional spectrum,
[00:35:38.218]everything is professional.
[00:35:40.004]Is it very easy to think that you can score
[00:35:43.690]touchdowns tomorrow with the points you got today?
[00:35:45.722]It doesn't happen.
[00:35:46.757]And the thing is is that
[00:35:49.868]you got to do the little things.
[00:35:52.376]You got to do the little things.
[00:35:53.580]Because everybody where you're going,
[00:35:55.025]everybody has a degree.
[00:35:57.518]You may have one or two little freckles of just
[00:35:59.990]people who don't use their intelligence the right way.
[00:36:01.842]You may label them stupid,
[00:36:02.893]but they're not stupid, everybody's smart.
[00:36:05.767]What sets you apart is the little things.
[00:36:08.870]So this is Hank Aaron.
[00:36:11.503]Hank Aaron is the all time leading home run scorer
[00:36:13.814]in all of baseball.
[00:36:15.059]All baseball players that have ever walked
[00:36:17.198]the face of the planet, nobody's hit more home runs
[00:36:19.123]than Hank Aaron.
[00:36:20.542]Now why is that important?
[00:36:22.542]It's important because he had nearly double
[00:36:24.325]the amount of strike outs.
[00:36:27.114]But he still hit the most home runs.
[00:36:29.307]And so as you get into the workforce,
[00:36:31.467]as you get into grad school,
[00:36:32.504]as you get into chasing your dreams,
[00:36:33.844]you're gonna strike out, you're gonna miss the ball,
[00:36:35.647]it's gonna happen, get over it.
[00:36:38.143]You're gonna fall on your face.
[00:36:39.679]Go home, cry.
[00:36:41.447]Talk to who you need to talk to,
[00:36:42.654]read whatever book you need to read and you keep swinging.
[00:36:46.364]You got to keep swinging.
[00:36:47.755]And the interesting thing about to take it step further,
[00:36:50.551]He had 3,771 hits.
[00:36:53.628]That's how many times he hit the ball.
[00:36:55.587]So what you can't forget is as you worry about you
[00:36:57.550]on your track to success, is the RBIs,
[00:37:00.680]the runs batted in.
[00:37:02.221]So that means out of 3,700 hits,
[00:37:05.050]of those times he hit the ball,
[00:37:07.304]2,297 of them
[00:37:09.396]him hitting the ball got somebody else to score.
[00:37:12.236]And if you reach success
[00:37:13.891]and your success never helps anybody else win,
[00:37:17.717]you're not successful, I hate to break it to you.
[00:37:21.530]So this is me and David Howard.
[00:37:24.145]David is the chief deputy secretary of transportation
[00:37:26.917]at North Carolina DOT.
[00:37:28.564]Now the interesting story to David is that
[00:37:30.859]he was appointed by the president,
[00:37:32.171]during the previous administration,
[00:37:35.088]to a leadership position in DOT.
[00:37:38.354]So long story short we got an email
[00:37:40.263]and say, "David Howard's coming, congratulations,"
[00:37:43.383]blah, blah, blah, all the political stuff, right?
[00:37:46.287]So I Googled him, I Googled him.
[00:37:48.521]I wanted to know what he looked like.
[00:37:49.642]So I found out what he looked like.
[00:37:50.868]Two days later, three days later,
[00:37:52.402]I end up in Washington up at headquarters.
[00:37:55.147]There's a big event, all the political people are there.
[00:37:59.322]I see David.
[00:38:00.155]You see he's like a big, tall guy.
[00:38:01.150]I mean you're not gonna miss him among
[00:38:02.424]a bunch of little people.
[00:38:04.032]So I see him and I see him sit down.
[00:38:06.802]So I look to the left, looked to the right of him,
[00:38:09.128]the seats are taken.
[00:38:10.909]So there's one behind him.
[00:38:12.765]So I hurry up over there and I go sit down.
[00:38:15.051]I go sit down, enjoy the event at DOT.
[00:38:18.190]And I hear somebody ask him afterwards and they say,
[00:38:20.862]"Yeah David, how thing's going you know?
[00:38:23.024]"What do you got on the rest of your agenda?"
[00:38:24.369]This was around 11, the event went from maybe
[00:38:26.121]like 11:00 to 12:00.
[00:38:27.618]And so he's like, "Oh well you know it's a busy day.
[00:38:29.639]"I got a one o'clock meeting.
[00:38:30.521]"But I got to get some lunch, I haven't eaten all day."
[00:38:32.797]And so I said, "Hm."
[00:38:34.598]Now anybody who's ever seen DOT headquarters,
[00:38:37.455]but if you haven't I'm gonna tell you it's
[00:38:39.400]two buildings, 10 stories tall,
[00:38:42.375]but there's only one cafeteria.
[00:38:44.587]Only one place to get food, baby.
[00:38:46.728]And so what I did was,
[00:38:48.427]I said, "Okay he'll be there, he got to go eat.
[00:38:51.189]"He said it, he's gonna go eat."
[00:38:52.751]And he's a big guy, like he can't afford
[00:38:54.080]like to not have,
[00:38:56.168]he can't afford to not have caloric intake, right?
[00:38:59.981]I go so, there's a place hard to describe,
[00:39:02.205]but there's a place, there's a spot
[00:39:04.056]where if you're going to the cafeteria
[00:39:05.252]from where he was standing, you have to pass that spot.
[00:39:07.955]And so what I did is I went and stood in that spot.
[00:39:10.745]Texting my wife, and I was married by now.
[00:39:13.937]And I didn't marry my high school sweetheart,
[00:39:16.161]so I mean we have two babies.
[00:39:18.045]So my girlfriend I talked about is now my wife.
[00:39:21.533]So I'm texting wife and I'm just on Facebook
[00:39:23.830]and all of that.
[00:39:25.307]Then I see him coming.
[00:39:27.096]So now I put my phone away and act like I'm just walking,
[00:39:29.181]you know the other way.
[00:39:30.644]And then I introduced myself, "Hey David, how are you?"
[00:39:32.532]Oh, I said Mr. Howard.
[00:39:34.057]"Mr. Howard are you?"
[00:39:34.890]"Oh no, please call me David."
[00:39:35.809]I said, "Well you know how's," he's from Charlotte,
[00:39:38.009]so I said well, "How's DC compared to Charlotte?"
[00:39:40.368]He said, "Well I'm adjusting.
[00:39:41.571]"If I could just get something to eat."
[00:39:42.785]"Oh you hungry?
[00:39:44.007]"Oh okay, well the cafeteria's right this way."
[00:39:48.184]took him to the cafeteria and he ended up becoming
[00:39:50.591]a very good mentor.
[00:39:52.096]And actually he got,
[00:39:53.747]and this, this is just to draw another sports parallel.
[00:39:57.475]You have to be intentional, you have to be intentional
[00:39:59.735]and strategic about your mentors.
[00:40:01.923]Mentorship is nothing magical.
[00:40:03.607]You see people, you like what they do,
[00:40:06.428]you reach out to them.
[00:40:07.363]And one thing I've learned about all successful people
[00:40:09.470]they like talking about themselves.
[00:40:11.425]Because they're always asked to put out fires,
[00:40:13.577]they're always asked to solve problems,
[00:40:15.047]they're always asked to hire or fire people.
[00:40:17.281]Nobody asks them what they think,
[00:40:18.843]nobody loves on leaders.
[00:40:21.129]All right, so if you get a chance
[00:40:23.466]you ask them my go to question.
[00:40:25.820]I'm gonna give you all a secret.
[00:40:26.739]I wish the camera wasn't on because I want this to get out.
[00:40:28.831]But you just ask somebody you say,
[00:40:32.253]"Sir or Ma'am.
[00:40:34.440]"What is it that you wish you knew
[00:40:36.520]"when you were my age?"
[00:40:39.612]That opens up so many doors.
[00:40:41.698]And you'll get a glimpse into the cost of success
[00:40:44.556]and you'll get a glimpse into more of what it takes.
[00:40:46.506]Not just what you read and not just
[00:40:47.560]what you learn in school.
[00:40:49.137]So be strategic in intention like an NFL team.
[00:40:51.907]You got to draft people.
[00:40:53.390]You got to put them on your board
[00:40:54.845]and you got to go get them and recruit them.
[00:40:57.176]And something that came from my relationship with
[00:41:02.141]is a relationship with Secretary Anthony Fox.
[00:41:05.334]So what happened was, if you notice,
[00:41:07.557]this was a commencement speech he gave
[00:41:08.697]at Monmouth University.
[00:41:10.070]And what doesn't he have one that you normally have on
[00:41:12.757]in these types of setting?
[00:41:15.295]Right, so I get a call.
[00:41:17.728]Again, just with me building relationships
[00:41:20.185]and making connections, I get a call, 202 number.
[00:41:23.408]He says, "Kevin, your country needs you."
[00:41:25.331]I said, "What?"
[00:41:26.164]And it's 2 o'clock in the afternoon on a Friday,
[00:41:28.287]on a Friday.
[00:41:30.028]2 o'clock in the afternoon and so he's saying.
[00:41:31.851]I'm was like well, "What's up?"
[00:41:33.580]You know I mean, I have a brother in war,
[00:41:36.250]like I don't know about war right now.
[00:41:40.851]They said, "Secretary Fox left his hat,
[00:41:43.375]"left his cap in Washington."
[00:41:45.698]And I think Monmouth is in New Jersey or somewhere near
[00:41:48.106]or in New England.
[00:41:49.977]They said, "We're up here and we're gonna be
[00:41:52.499]"in Greensboro tomorrow and we need
[00:41:54.717]"you to bring," he said, "you were coming to Greensboro."
[00:41:58.314]'Cause here's the thing, he was a commencement speaker
[00:42:00.014]at my, at A&T the next day.
[00:42:02.308]And I found out about it.
[00:42:03.319]And so I told,
[00:42:05.571]Mr. Howard, David Howard that I was going to Greensboro.
[00:42:08.590]I had no intentions on going to Greensboro,
[00:42:10.082]but I said hey look, I'm gonna tell him I'm going there,
[00:42:11.794]so he can try to get me to shadow the secretary
[00:42:13.998]and I can just hang out with
[00:42:15.322]a presidential cabinet member.
[00:42:17.143]So got a call saying I was needed.
[00:42:20.434]So I drove from Richmond, 3 o'clock in the afternoon,
[00:42:23.700]up to DC, got there before 5 o'clock when
[00:42:26.328]his executive secretary left for the day,
[00:42:28.863]picked up the cap, drove back to Richmond.
[00:42:31.687]I told my wife the story and I couldn't sleep,
[00:42:35.243]but I left Richmond at 3:00 a.m.,
[00:42:38.025]so I could get to Greensboro about 7:00 and
[00:42:41.886]be there in time to go through Secret Service
[00:42:44.597]and all that other stuff.
[00:42:46.075]Long story short this is me the next morning,
[00:42:47.565]see the bags under my eyes?
[00:42:48.876]See how tired I look?
[00:42:50.072]But if you look right there it says, Fox,
[00:42:51.532]like that's his cap.
[00:42:52.684]And that's me in front of the Koury Convention Center
[00:42:54.219]which is where I met the secretary and we rode
[00:42:56.054]to the graduation.
[00:42:57.482]And the Secret Service detail
[00:42:58.377]and look what's in his hand, the cap.
[00:43:01.475]And he even wrote me into his commencement speech
[00:43:03.603]which was pretty cool.
[00:43:05.460]And this was just 2016.
[00:43:07.499]And while I was there, so this is Janice
[00:43:10.631]Bryant-Howroyd who's one of the first
[00:43:12.650]African American billionaire women.
[00:43:14.885]And she actually went to A&T.
[00:43:16.663]And I got to meet her, so in this picture
[00:43:18.248]there's about a billion dollars in this picture.
[00:43:20.128]Now it would be a little more
[00:43:22.065]if I didn't have student debt.
[00:43:24.390]I'll settle for a billion.
[00:43:26.654]And so the secretary left, one small plug,
[00:43:29.663]you know the secretary left, you know Secret Service
[00:43:31.416]was like, "Hey you know, we're leaving."
[00:43:33.303]And asked, "Are you coming back to the hotel?"
[00:43:34.744]I'm like, "Nah, I got to see a good friend
[00:43:36.313]"of mine graduate."
[00:43:37.193]'Cause I had the press pass, I was on the floor,
[00:43:38.958]I was right up at the stage.
[00:43:40.196]I'm like, nah you know, Greg a buddy of mine.
[00:43:42.758]We used to work to work at the club together,
[00:43:43.708]we partied, we were in the same boat.
[00:43:44.891]It took him a little longer but he finally graduated.
[00:43:47.784]And I made sure I was there right at the stage
[00:43:50.267]when he walked off to congratulate him.
[00:43:52.596]So, but the moral of that is to add value.
[00:43:55.013]'Cause all of these successful people,
[00:43:56.432]they're not expecting you, I think the misconception is
[00:43:58.774]they're expecting you to return
[00:44:00.757]what they do for you in kind, they're not.
[00:44:04.478]Taking a cap
[00:44:06.161]to a presidential appointee.
[00:44:08.423]You know and I got so much more than that.
[00:44:09.793]But all they want is for you to just
[00:44:11.170]add some sort of value.
[00:44:12.794]So look for ways to add value.
[00:44:15.283]So Mary had a little lamb.
[00:44:17.864]The fleece was white as snow.
[00:44:19.862]Everywhere that Mary went?
[00:44:21.434]The lamb was sure to go.
The lamb was sure to go.
[00:44:23.417]Everywhere that Mary went?
[00:44:24.741]The lamb was sure to go.
The lamb was sure to go.
[00:44:26.879]And that's your reputation.
[00:44:28.506]Everywhere you go your reputation goes.
[00:44:31.191]Nothing you can do about it.
[00:44:32.664]It doesn't go with you some of the time,
[00:44:33.919]doesn't go with you half the time,
[00:44:34.944]it goes with you all the time.
[00:44:36.229]And your reputation's something that you have
[00:44:37.568]to be very intentional about building and crafting
[00:44:39.760]and more importantly protecting.
[00:44:41.708]And the reputation is a little more sophisticated
[00:44:44.183]than Mary's little lamb,
[00:44:45.135]because it gets to a point where your reputation goes
[00:44:47.531]where you're going before you get there.
[00:44:49.867]Your reputation proceeds you.
[00:44:51.743]And you'll have doors open or close
[00:44:53.943]before you get there, based on your reputation.
[00:44:56.386]So a personal introduction.
[00:45:00.097]You have to give a firm handshake.
[00:45:02.118]And I'm trying to end a little more practical,
[00:45:04.564]just a little more applications.
[00:45:05.569]And I have plenty of presentations on these subjects
[00:45:08.021]like reputation and introduction and all of these things,
[00:45:10.828]but I just want to capture a few of them
[00:45:12.978]for this presentation.
[00:45:14.530]Handshake, give a firm handshake.
[00:45:17.215]Nothing says I'm here to do business,
[00:45:20.632]like a firm handshake.
[00:45:21.951]Nothing says I'm here to waste your time
[00:45:23.869]than a flimsy, weak handshake.
[00:45:25.621]Even for ladies, I'm not talking squeeze, 'cause you strong.
[00:45:28.442]Don't break my hand, okay,
[00:45:30.731]but give a firm handshake.
[00:45:33.356]On your resume.
[00:45:34.893]I review a lot of resumes of graduate students
[00:45:37.419]and undergraduate students alike.
[00:45:39.881]One thing is as a common thread,
[00:45:42.060]on their resume they'll say," I answered the phones."
[00:45:45.960]They'll say, "I assisted customers in
[00:45:49.178]"choosing a product."
[00:45:51.016]You got to ask yourself everything on your resume,
[00:45:53.221]can a second grader do it?
[00:45:54.989]Second graders can answer the phones,
[00:45:56.499]second graders can be nice, because they can say hi,
[00:45:58.576]they can wave at people.
[00:46:00.412]They can say, "Hey I like that you should get that."
[00:46:02.814]You know, you have to include your accomplishments.
[00:46:05.636]And you have to look for them.
[00:46:07.018]Don't get the low hanging fruit, answer calls, no.
[00:46:09.820]You put that you were part of a system that helped
[00:46:13.718]deliver constituent needs, or whatever it is,
[00:46:16.466]you figure it out.
[00:46:17.837]But that's the thing.
[00:46:18.753]And another thing is, don't misspell words.
[00:46:23.775]Is misspelled misspelled in that?
[00:46:29.989]I was right?
[00:46:32.258]Is that it?
[00:46:33.484](crosstalk and laughing)
[00:46:38.298]So after the resume, when you're interviewing.
[00:46:42.551]Is it misspelled, can somebody fact check that?
[00:46:46.065]'Cause I had it misspelled intentionally.
[00:46:49.478]It is misspelled?
[00:46:50.463]That's what I thought.
[00:46:51.687]Yeah, yeah, right, right.
[00:46:53.913]'Cause I saw the two lls and this is a fancy computer,
[00:46:57.348]so I wasn't sure if it auto corrected my PowerPoint.
[00:46:59.420]But, no it was misspelled.
[00:47:02.262]And it was misspelled intentionally.
[00:47:03.811]I made sure the red line was up under it before I, you know.
[00:47:09.939]Don't misspell words.
[00:47:10.772]And when you interview, after the resume process,
[00:47:13.109]don't take the kind of approach.
[00:47:14.886]As a college student whether it's grad or undergrad,
[00:47:18.230]it's kind of easy to want to keep your options open.
[00:47:22.214]And oftentimes that leads to a lot of
[00:47:24.773]pedestrian approaches to opportunities.
[00:47:28.247]You know like you don't want to over commit yourself
[00:47:29.354]to something and ruin another opportunity.
[00:47:31.532]Don't take the kind of approach.
[00:47:32.699]Another thing that a lot of students do,
[00:47:35.122]never say you're here to gain experience.
[00:47:37.927]That goes without saying.
[00:47:40.126]And when you say that you're saying,
[00:47:41.769]"I'm here to take more than I leave behind."
[00:47:43.728]And no company or organization wants to hear that.
[00:47:47.033]Know how you can add value before the interview.
[00:47:49.755]Google, look it up.
[00:47:51.531]And even as an intern, come from a place of service.
[00:47:54.492]So come from a place of service
[00:47:55.366]whether you're an intern or
[00:47:57.145]you're interviewing to be a CEO.
[00:47:58.826]Come from a place of service, don't be about yourself.
[00:48:01.699]Also, you never know who you're competing against,
[00:48:03.554]but if the qualifications are a PhD,
[00:48:06.037]or masters (audio skips) qualifications are,
[00:48:08.338]you can guarantee yourself that you are competing
[00:48:09.969]with people that have a lot in common with you.
[00:48:13.123]And to that end you must sell yourself,
[00:48:15.733]set yourself apart.
[00:48:16.979]You've got to sell yourself.
[00:48:18.581]And a lot of Southern schools in here,
[00:48:20.276]a lot of Southern people,
[00:48:21.415]one thing about Southern people is humility is often
[00:48:25.009]revered as a form of
[00:48:30.342]Be humble, but
[00:48:32.639]don't sit down, stand up.
[00:48:33.820]Like you got to stand up and really you know,
[00:48:36.050]really sell yourself.
[00:48:37.211]And don't recite your resume.
[00:48:38.614]They have the resume there.
[00:48:39.447]When they ask you what have your experiences been,
[00:48:41.516]go a little deeper than what they have
[00:48:43.033]in front of them on paper.
[00:48:44.615]So the victory, wrapping up.
[00:48:48.251]I can go on and on about it,
[00:48:49.853]but show appreciation, say thank you.
[00:48:52.572]So many relationships and opportunities are wasted
[00:48:54.939]and ruined because people fail to say thank you.
[00:48:58.426]All people want is appreciation.
[00:49:01.510]It's bigger than you.
[00:49:04.293]It, see the little you?
[00:49:06.079]Just in case you didn't know.
[00:49:08.206]It is bigger than you.
[00:49:09.887]So you have to remember with everything that you do,
[00:49:12.869]you are somebody's dream come true.
[00:49:14.784]And they're dead now, they're in the ground,
[00:49:16.757]whether it's a great-great grandparent,
[00:49:19.659]going back to slavery even.
[00:49:21.871]'Cause a lot of African American people in here.
[00:49:23.694]So the thing is is that
[00:49:25.454]there is somebody somewhere who sacrificed a lot
[00:49:27.203]with you in mind.
[00:49:28.036]They never met you, never will meet you.
[00:49:29.240]But they sacrificed a lot.
[00:49:31.511]And slavery as a point of contact, I mean rape,
[00:49:35.464]just all of the things, rape and being sold
[00:49:37.754]and just beatings and everything.
[00:49:39.742]Because there were plenty of people who jumped off
[00:49:42.532]in the ocean, 'cause they couldn't do it.
[00:49:45.793]And there were other people who wanted to
[00:49:47.718]jump off the ship when they were being sold into slavery.
[00:49:50.550]But they didn't because they had you in mind.
[00:49:52.133]They didn't do it for them.
[00:49:52.980]Doing it for them would have jumped off.
[00:49:54.897]But they had you in mind, they had opportunity
[00:49:56.659]and they knew that because they weren't you could,
[00:49:59.734]that you could be.
[00:50:01.855]And you got to lift as you climb.
[00:50:03.130]So you saw the video earlier.
[00:50:04.341]So I graduated from A&T December, 2012.
[00:50:07.198]By January, 2014 I started a non-profit
[00:50:11.155]that helps kids pay for college and gain access
[00:50:13.565]to mentors in different organizations.
[00:50:15.934]You got to lift as you climb.
[00:50:17.245]You got to be the person that you needed
[00:50:18.749]when you were growing up, whether you had them or not.
[00:50:22.519]It's important because again if you're a success,
[00:50:25.635]that doesn't help help other people succeed,
[00:50:27.599]you're not successful, you're not.
[00:50:30.030]And so up to date we've given more than
[00:50:32.274]$40,000 in scholarship, that's my baby.
[00:50:35.087]That's the baby from the earlier picture.
[00:50:37.251]She's 10 years old now.
[00:50:38.868]And these are the 2017 scholars.
[00:50:41.553]We gave uh,
[00:50:42.546]more than $13,000 in scholarships this year to kids.
[00:50:46.275]It's all local grass roots funding.
[00:50:48.741]I like the sport of raising money.
[00:50:50.434]So got to remember to lift as you climb.
[00:50:54.720]So that's the end of the presentation.
[00:50:56.693]And if, I'm gonna take questions now,
[00:50:58.931]if you don't get your question asked and answered here,
[00:51:02.212]I will be at Blue Sushi Sake Grill.
[00:51:05.810]It's right around the corner from the hotel.
[00:51:08.732]It is happy hour where sushi rolls go half off,
[00:51:12.461]it starts at 10:30.
[00:51:13.381]So I'm gonna be there as I was two nights ago
[00:51:15.714]alone with my sushi.
[00:51:17.619]Because I lived here before, so it's like
[00:51:19.055]I got to eat there at least twice while I'm here.
[00:51:21.217]So that's my spot, that's where I'll be at 10:30 sharp,
[00:51:24.869]because that's when their sushi rolls go half off.
[00:51:27.429]And it is absolutely, I know it sounds crazy,
[00:51:29.835]but the best sushi of America is in the middle
[00:51:32.439]of the country, the furthest point
[00:51:33.688]from the ocean in Nebraska.
[00:51:37.799]So if you like what you heard, if you think that
[00:51:40.606]I would be good to come to your school,
[00:51:42.253]if you want to bring me to your school
[00:51:43.255]or to any organization.
[00:51:44.653]That's information on how to book me
[00:51:46.441]and that's my email below.
[00:51:48.149]And that is it.
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