Many of our young people today are lost and struggling with no hope. What can we do to inspire them? I recently did a speaking engagement where I spoke to 100 girls who were considered at high risk for teen pregnancy, drug use, domestic violence and jail. I could see fear and worry on many of their faces. I looked around and saw many defeated faces and my heart broke for them. As I stood before them telling my life story of my father being in prison, seeing my mother murdered, living in a two foster homes, living in a group home, along with my teenage rebellion I could see surprise and disbelief on many of their faces.
As I continued sharing feelings of abandonment, worthlessness, being told I would never be successful, and the beatings I took, I could see many tears flowing in the audience. As I began to tell the teenagers about leaving a group home for college, graduating college in four years and graduating law school, those faces full of sadness and tears turned to smiles. When I informed them I passed the bar on the first try and have been a lawyer for 10 years they were all on their feet clapping loudly. At the end of my speaking engagement, I was asked what advice I would give the girls. I said, never let your past determine your future. Never let what your mother, father, sister, or brother did that was wrong stop you from doing what is right. After my speech, most of the girls approached me and told me that certain parts of my story was their story. I hugged at least half of them and encouraged them to follow their dreams. I like to think that those girls left the room thinking "if Brunell Donald can do it then so can I". What are you doing to inspire our young people?