Actor, and alumnus of our high school, Michael Jai White, visited us yesterday. He has found success as an actor and screen writer and wanted to share some words of advice for our students. Some of his appearances include "The Dark Knight", "Wonderland" and "Spawn."
He talked about not letting the streets make you angry or hard and how you have to work to be happy, not hardened. He told the students that they should work together, help others, and avoid violence.
Two comments he made are very powerful, poignant and relevant to our students. They are especially powerful because he came from the same neighborhood and school that our students do and with the same background.
"An education is the key to your happiness and success."
"When you combine street smarts with academic knowledge, you can not be stopped."
He repeatedly told them that violence is not the answer, that an education is the only way to achieve success, and that they should not be influenced by the violence in rap and the media. He told them that it was ok to feel rebelous against their parents and school, but that they much over come that, do well in school, and strive for success.
I wish every student in the cities of America could have heard his speech.