Tuesday, December 27, 2011

If I can do these 3 things in 2012, I...

It's that time again to set new goals for a new year. 2011 was good to me but improvement has never killed anybody. 

In 2012, I want to become more patient, more consistent and execute at a higher rate. 

I wouldn't call myself a perfectionist but I do like for things to be done with excellence.  I have high standards because of exposure that I have received in my life time.  I have to remind myself that I'm a long way from being considered as the gold standard of human beings on Earth. With patience, we can all become great. Thank God for my family members and friends for being patient with me. In the most loving way possible, I ask that you remind me when I lack patience.

Being good at something means that you can do it it once and maybe even a few times. To be great is to be consistent meaning you do good things most of the time. My intentions are good but laziness and not being aware causes me to be inconsistent. I want to be a great husband, father, son, leader, friend, mentor and more. To be more consistent in 2012 would be amazing. 

I'm a visionary and I love it. My mind races all day and all night with ideas. I'm convinced that I have come up with several million dollar ideas in my lifetime but my bank account doesn't reflect it because of lack of execution. Execution requires patience and consistency. 

Father God, help me to be a good steward of the time and talents that you have blessed me with. Allow me to receive the blessings provided by my family and friends. Remind me that everything that I do must be done for your glory. All these things that I ask in your son Jesus Christ name. Amen. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

You are the best gift to L.E.A.D.

I'm biased but I think that Atlanta is the best city in America. So much history and so much innovation. We are an international city that sets many trends.

We have gotten away from something that we were once known for. Did you know that several influential men wanted a baseball team in Atlanta so bad that they went to Milwaukee and purchased the Braves before we even had a stadium. Did you know that Aaron's Rents founder Charlie Loudermilk provided chairs and tents to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movements. Charlie jeopardized the success of his business for another Atlantan despite him being black.

These are two classic examples of the "Atlanta Way".  L.E.A.D. was created with the "Atlanta Way" in mind. My blessings are your blessings.

L.E.A.D. is a year round youth development organization that uses baseball to provide access to college for inner city Atlanta males. We serve over 180 student-athletes annually with four signature programs. Since 2007, 100% of our Ambassadors graduate from high school and enroll in college while 89% of them enroll with a baseball scholarship. As an organization, we complete over 2,200 community service hours annually.

With Christmas right around the corner, I have a gift request to ask of you for the Ambassadors. Click here to "Like" us on Facebook and "Follow" us on Twitter.  It is only through continuous prayers and community support that L.E.A.D. will continue to thrive.

We are Atlanta and there is a need for L.E.A.D. L.E.A.D. is more than me. L.E.A.D. is also you. L.E.A.D. is we and we are Atlantans.

Click here to enjoy our newly designed L.E.A.D. website and we look forward to serving with you in 2012. It's the "Atlanta Way".

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

APS hit a homerun for its student-athletes

As an 8-year-old African-American male living in Atlanta, GA, I dreamed of playing professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs and becoming a "businessman" as my back up plan.

Over the years, I've had hundreds of people pour into me to make my dreams a reality; I did play for the Chicago Cubs and I am a successful business owner and philanthropist.

Thank God for my mom and dad and my family. Thank God for the Atlanta Public School System (APS) and all of my Grove Park Elementary School teachers. Thank God for the patience of my first baseball coach Emmett Johnson who still serves on the APS School Board. Thank God for  my wife, daughters, all of my coaches, teachers, principals, mentors and friends. Without you, success for me still would have remained a dream.

Yesterday evening, I along with several of my L.E.A.D. Ambassadors and their family were recognized and honored by the Atlanta Public School Superintendent Erroll Davis as well as the APS Board of Education. The room was packed and they gave us a standing ovation for our continued commitment to excellence. Since 2007, 100% of my Ambassadors have graduated from high school and enrolled in college while 89% of my Ambassadors have enrolled in college with a baseball scholarship.

Standing behind my Ambassadors last night was a strong woman who has supported L.E.A.D. from the start. APS School Board Chairwoman Brenda Muhammad has been our #1 fan because of her passion for excellence in academics, athletics and community engagement.  Her expectations are high and we aim to please.

It was so fitting for me to shake the hand of my first baseball coach Emmett Johnson last night as we were being honored. Maybe he knew all along that I wanted to become a leader and a change agent throughout the country. It just goes to show the positive influence that coaches have on youth. Mentorship matters.

I had to smile and laugh as I was being recognized to keep me from crying tears of joy. Often times, men go without recognition in their own hometown. I strive for excellence everyday while I'm on this Earth because I believe that God has given me a gift. It is also my civic duty to do so.

On behalf of L.E.A.D., I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to APS Superintendent Erroll Davis, APS Chairwoman Brenda Muhammad and the APS School Board for the special recognition. Like me, my Ambassadors have a sense of belonging and investment to the city of Atlanta so we will continue to represent you well.

APS worked for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It worked for me and it works for my Ambassadors. APS works for Atlanta.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We are more than bats and balls y'all

Our L.E.A.D. Ambassadors have been selected and the real work has begun.

In our fall Legacy League program, a few Ambassadors expressed some academic struggles that they were experiencing during our daily group reflection time. I am pleased that their grades have improved and met my expectations. Believe it or not, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received a C in a public speaking class while in college.  Like baseball, life is all about making adjustments in order to be successful.

We still have a few disciplinary issues that require attention. As an adult, I am still working hard to learn how to properly express myself. Often times, young adults act out at school and home because they lack sound communication skills. We are looking forward to working with Drew Sisselman on December 18.

We've toured the Jimmy Carter Center thanks to my fellow Atlanta West End Rotarian Don Schewe. Exposure is a pillar of excellence for L.E.A.D. and something that we don't take for granted. As a kid, exposure gave me a sense of belonging and involvement in the great city of Atlanta. We will be welcomed as guest at WSB-TV as well as the Center of Disease and Control (CDC) in the new year.

The Ambassadors continue to raise funds to support individuals and other organizations in need through our annual Dollar Drive. We are donating $200.00 to support Amy Hosier and her family. Amy is a former Georgia Tech All-American that was recently diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. We know that money alone won't solve the problem and we want Amy and her family to know that we are here to go to bat with her. Click here to go to bat with Amy.

As you can see, we stay busy even when it is too cold to get on the baseball field. We will have our first practice this Saturday at my Diamond Directors indoor training facility. I get excited when I see the Ambassadors. They are committed to my vision and I am committed to theirs.  A perfect partnership.

On behalf of the Ambassadors and the entire L.E.A.D. family, we want to thank you for your continued support and partnership. Our newly designed website will launch soon and provide many ways that you can continue to support us as we continue to graduate our students-athletes from high school and ensure that they enroll in college.

Since 2007, 100% of our L.E.A.D. Ambassadors have graduated from high school and enrolled in college while 89% of them have enrolled with a baseball scholarship. We serve over 180 elementary, middle and high school student-athletes per year.

This impact is intentional! Join us at Lead2Legacy.org.