LEAD eMagazine L.E.A.D. For Youth | Q2,2019 - Page 9

Q: What do you dream about?

A: I dream about the struggles I have been through growing up.

Q: What do you feel is your calling in life?

A: I feel like I was put on earth to lead the people around me to do better.

Q: What world problem do you want to solve?

A: I want to solve racism and discrimination starting with my city of Atlanta.

Q: If you could ask someone to pray for you, what would you ask them to pray about on your behalf?

A: I would ask someone to pray for the success of my family, and pray for blessings to come their way.

Q: What role has L.E.A.D. played in your life?

A: LEAD, Coach CJ, and Coach Kelli's role in my life was significant. I developed the foundation for leadership from coach CJ. I learned patience from Coach Kelli. I learned that racism is real and I learned how to deal with it better. Being in LEAD taught me that presentation is everything, and I learned that you don’t have to have a lot of money to mean something or change something in the setting around you.

Q: What has been the toughest part of your Marine Boot Camp experience so far?

A: My toughest challenge has been the in-your-face discipline, and learning when and when not to speak.

Q: How has your life prepared you for the challenge of the Marines?

A: The leadership and discipline that I developed in LEAD definitely equipped me to be a squad leader. The last qualification to be a United States Marine is to be able to handle lack of sleep and food. The struggles me and my family faced in life – being homeless, not knowing where our next meals were coming from – those struggles make not having food and sleep not seem so hard. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a challenge, but I have those tough times in my life to pull from to help me make it through. So many times, I felt like the leaders were trying to make me quit, but I had already gone through that with Coach CJ. He would tell me he didn’t think I was going to finish the Ambassador Program. Not because he didn’t think I could do it, but because he wasn’t sure that I was willing to do what it took to do it. And for me, that motivated me to prove him wrong. That same thing came up during my Marine experience. It’s not about if you think you can finish; it’s about are you willing to do what it takes to finish.