"There isn't a right time to start leading, except RIGHT NOW!" The My Life Movement had the honor of hosting our first Leadership Forum/Training on April 19, 2015 in downtown Trenton at the Lafayette hotel. Students of the tri-state area gathered together in discussion with our five guest panelist, pertaining to the "Glo-up" theme. The Program began with Co-Founder and President, Jamayrah Moore gave an interactive presentation on the five necessary steps to take flight as a leader. In addition to, informing the students about the mission and purpose of the movement. Following that, students engaged in a series of ice breakers, lunch, and a raffle for a brand new Adidas backpack. Although, the highlight of the forum was the panel discussion. The five panelists: Myeesa Ross (18), Ameer Gonazalez(18), Jasmine Ross (25), Kenneth Austin (23), and Palmer Richardson (24) ranged from high school, college, graduate school, and law school providing the students with moral guidance on making academic decisions that may very well affect their entire lives. The students were able to touch base on self-empowerment, education, community, family, career opportunities, and staying focused. Coupled with the new found knowledge, students were sent home with a gift bag, certificate of completion, T-shirt, and Notebook. The MLM team would like to extend a thank you to all participants and supporters of the MLM mission, hope to see you again at our next event!
“What if my feelings acted as my name ?
Hello my name is Sad.
What’s up my name is Happy.
What’s going on I'm Depressed.
And what if my name served as my feelings? Really
Leave me alone I am feeling Jamayrah today.
Wow, I am really Jamayrah today.
Not right now, I’m Jamayrah.
My name cannot serve its purpose as my feelings and vice versa. To put it another way, my name will always be my name it does not change, and nothing or no one can change it. Consider it, no one can take it away from me, it’s meaning cannot be changed, and it's purpose can not be unfulfilled. Conversely, my feelings change according to the way people treat me they change, and something happens to me—good or bad—they change. With that in mind, we as humankind, we search for ourselves through our feelings, making it possible for us to define ourselves through what others have to say about us, what we’ve been through, then being who we really are.”
These were the words spoken by Co-Founder and President of the My Life Movement, Jamayrah Moore at the organization’s 1st Annual Leadership Forum on Sunday, April 17, 2016. Thus, from the hours of 12-3pm a total of 28 students, parents, and community members gathered in the Woodrow Wilson room at the War Memorial to discuss the Forum’s theme “Turning Obstacles into Opportunities.”
This year’s theme geared towards confronting the delusive distorted perception of life that the youth of are exposed to. A horde of students—especially in urban cities, similar to Trenton— are exposed to: rape, death, violence, teen pregnancy, low self-esteem, hunger, miseducation, one-parented homes, etc. Unfortunately, they are without the proper guidance, finances, or resources to overcome these obstacles obliging them to become adjacent to a perfunctory of strenuous fatalism.
For this reason, the My Life Movement dedicated this year’s program to address this mindset of strenuous fatalism through testimonials of four culturally diverse panelists.
(From left to Right) First up, Mr. Richmond Aruruguzoh (17) a current senior at the Trenton Catholic Academy, who recently committed to playing D1 basketball at the Princeton University this upcoming fall. Richmond provided a vast range of theories and philosophies of how he sees every obstacle as a learning opportunity. Followed by Ms. Heather Guzman (19), the current attendee and Junior class President of Morgan State University. Heather enlighten the students on their most tenacious obstacle, themselves, and how she daily overcome the obstacle of self. In addition to Ms.Rozanae Veal (23), a mother of one, up and coming blogger/vlogger, and social activist in the city Trenton, NJ. Rozanae—also known as Roz—had every odd stacked against her in this city; as a young fatherless African American girl who had behavioral problems and often caught up with the wrong people, allowing her environment to be her grievous obstacle. She informed the students that “when when life serves lemons to make lemonade” (Guisewite) Last but not least, Mr. Gary B. Lawery III (18) a current high school senior at the Pennsbury High School, also known for his position as the President of the Mercer County Midas Keystone Club. Gary always thought that school subsisted as a non-essential, that it “wasn’t his style”. Especially, considering that he aspired to go to military as every other man in his family had. However, when 12th grade started Gary began to realize that he has a passion for youth development. Although senior year is a decidedly late for a student to revamp to attend college; Gary did not let his past decisions determine what could be of him.
Nonetheless, the dialogue of the panel discussion consisted of a series of questions, in which every panelist had the opportunity to answer.
To enumerate the question “Who do you surround yourself with?”
The four panelist responses ranged from positive people, family, friends, people who push them to transcend, and people who force them to set the example. Nevertheless, they definitely aspired to assure that room full of people that there will have haters, doubters, and fake friends who are waiting for them to fail.
“You have those “Nay” sayers who say proclaim to be those people in your corner who want to walk with, but they rather just walk behind just to wait and see you fail.” said Rozanae.
As the program went on, the atmosphere became intimate, prowess, and indifferent to the outside world.
The program ended with a light conversation, a photo-op, networking and laughter.