God blessed me with an assignment on Friday, September 19th, 2015 to be a platform guest and give the benediction for the Georgia Highlands College Presidential Inauguration of Dr. Donald Green. I knew that I was doing something special because I was so nervous that I prayed to God before I spoke that I wouldn’t pass out.

I was beyond honored especially considering that I don’t have a college degree. Thank you Donald for sharing your special day with me, my family and thousands of students from Atlanta Public Schools.

From left to right: Dr. Donald Green, President, Georgia Highlands College; C.J. Stewart, CEO, L.E.A.D., Inc.; Chancellor Henry “Hank” M. Huckaby, The University System of Georgia

Here is what I shared from my heart.

There are four walls that influential and significant people like Dr. Green face everyday.

The first wall is one that has “I don’t get it” written all over it.

The second wall reads, “I get it!”

The third wall reads, “I get it but I will do nothing about it”.

The fourth wall reads, “I get it and I will do something about it now and will not stop until it is finished!”

When I spoke to Dr. Green for the first time last year, I informed him that inner city Atlanta Public Schools serves 51,000+ students and that 80% of those students live at or below the poverty level. Youth from three inner city Atlanta zip codes 30310, 30315 and 30318 grow up to represent 80% of the Georgia Prison population and 60% of black males from Atlanta Public Schools either will not graduate on time or at all from high school.

Dr. Green’s response was to join me at my alma mater Grove Park Elementary School located in poverty stricken northwest Atlanta Bankhead. He addressed every student in the school with the passion that he’s famous for and weeks later had them all – and I mean all on buses headed to Cartersville, GA to experience the magic of Georgia Highlands College. Dr. Green gets it and he’s doing something about it.

When the Grove Park Elementary School students arrived at Georgia Highlands College, they were welcomed by members of the administrative team – including Donald. They were divided into groups for a tour, dodge ball in the gym, conversation with minority students enrolled at Georgia Highlands, and they also participated in a science experiment. After the Georgia Highlands College experience, they made comments like “I could go to college if everyone was as helpful as the Georgia Highlands staff.” Also, “I wish I had someone pushing me to go to college like Mr. Green.”

Georgia will not work without called men like Dr. Green leading the way.

The reknown English writer and scholar Dorothy Sayers once said “If you do your work so well that by God’s grace it helps you serve others who can never thank you or helps those coming after you do it better, then you know that you are serving the work and truly loving your neighbor.”

Will you please stand and join me as I pray…

Lord, we acknowledge you as being Almighty and all powerful. We come confessing our sins of our past, present and future. We come thanking you for your everlasting mercy and grace. Thank You Father for blessing this state of Georgia and Georgia Highlands College with the leadership of Dr. Donald Green. Now Father, we ask you to bless Dr. Green, his family, his administrators, his staff and his faculty beyond measure so that they all may bless, encourage, and inspire others. It’s in Jesus name that we pray, Amen.