CCC Students Encouraged to Never Give Up
Coahoma Community College students got a dose of real-world truth mixed with forthright encouragement Thursday morning during a retention rally held at the Marion Reid Gymnasium.
Student retention officer and former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Mr. Elbert Foules began the program by asking the students in attendance to close their eyes and imagine … that they were a lawyer walking out of a courtroom after winning their first case, or that they were a doctor who had just discovered the cure for AIDS, or that they were a football player in the NFL playing in front of hundreds of thousands of fans on Sunday afternoon.
“If you believe, you can achieve,” Foules told the crowd. “Our job is to recruit you, retain you and release you to be productive members of our society.”
He then took a moment to thank the students for choosing to attend Coahoma Community College and letting them know that every member of the faculty and administration now has a vested interest in seeing them succeed.
And, following a rousing version of the song, “The Climb” by CCC’s Male Chorus, Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Rosetta Howard introduced the rally’s guest speaker, CCC President Dr. Valmadge Towner.
“I remember a quote from (Winston) Churchill, that had the word ‘never’ in it about seven times, and finished with ‘give up’,” said Towner. “If everyone here, male or female, black or white, big or small, would adopt that motto it would take you from wherever you are to wherever it is you want to go.”
Towner turned the attention of the students towards the faculty and administration and asked the crowd, “Do you see all of the people, polished and confident?”
“We weren’t always this way; I know that there were times where we all felt like quitting, and felt like maybe dropping out. But we didn’t and we prepared ourselves to be polished and confident.”
Towner explained to the crowd that throughout life they would be faced with obstacles, and the measure of who they would become, would happen in part to how they dealt with those obstacles. And, that if the students would humble themselves enough to do just a few little things like act and talk correctly, listen and, “stay in the race” then they too could be successful.
“There are three things that are inevitable that you’re going to face in your life,” Towner told his students. “You going to have to deal with rejection, you’re going to have to deal with someone who resents you and you’ll face ridicule. Let those things be fuel for your engine; use them a stepping stones to get you where you want to be. If you have the strength of mind to never give up, you can and will be successful.”
Towner left those in attendance with a challenge, some words from the Book of Lamentations, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
The analogy being that everyone has things about their past that they might not be proud of, but that every day brought with it the hope of new beginnings. Students at Coahoma have the opportunity to make the needed changes in their lives to become successful.
“It’s not where you start. It’s how you finish,” Towner told the crowd. “You can’t win the race if you don’t keep running.”