- Faith & Family
The UNCF Empower Me Tour came to the campus of Florida Memorial University last Friday with a star-studded panel that included: activist Jeff Johnson; actors Boris Kodjoe, Kim Coles and Lamman Rucker — all advising students to take their place in the world and allow for making mistakes. But beyond the excitement of speaking to celebrities, the packed auditorium of students showed up looking for suggestions for their own roadmaps to success.
The audience was urged to “enjoy the space to make mistakes,” by Johnson who proceeded to speak about his time when he wasn’t as recognizable.
“I enjoyed serving under someone, learning something and the intricacies of working with people on the ground,” he said. “There’s nothing worse than seeing someone make the primetime who’s not ready.”
Leading the panel in logical advice, Johnson and Rucker talked about learning how to discover one’s self and recognizing the right kinds of people with which to surround oneself in order to accomplish your goals.
The defining moment of the discussion came when students pulled out their pens to write down Johnson’s tidbit on having a “starting five.” The starting five are the people around you that influence you the most and signify the direction in which one hopes to move. According to Johnson those five consist of: the strategist, the enforcer, the gangster, the wise guy and you.
“If you have the wrong five you’re going to be in the wrong place,” he added.
Most of the speakers noted that students should not be afraid to explore options as they seek their place in the world. Kodjoe jokingly warned the students not to move out of their parents’ home too soon.
Now in its fifth year, the UNCF Empower Me Tour has already visited five cities, including Miami and will visit four more before the end of the academic school year. For more information go to www.EmpowerMeTour.org.
By Joseph Adams