Wednesday, February 25, 2009

President Obama recognizes student intiative

The President delivers the annual State of the...The President speaks to congress
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After President Obama's Inaugural Address, I spoke with iTeam members and wrote about the connections of our iTeam work to his messages. Last night, President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress and reinforced one of the ideas of the discussions with iTeam members. Identify things that need to be done and take initiative to do them or recruit others to help you do them. Here, he shares the story of a student who took the initiative to recruit the President's help:

And I think about Ty'Sheoma Bethea, the young girl from that school I visited in Dillon, South Carolina - a place where the ceilings leak, the paint peels off the walls, and they have to stop teaching six times a day because the train barrels by their classroom. She has been told that her school is hopeless, but the other day after class she went to the public library and typed up a letter to the people sitting in this room. She even asked her principal for the money to buy a stamp. The letter asks us for help, and says: "We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina but also the world. We are not quitters."

We are not quitters.

These words and these stories tell us something about the spirit of the people who sent us here. They tell us that even in the most trying times, amid the most difficult circumstances, there is a generosity, a resilience, a decency and a determination that perseveres; a willingness to take responsibility for our future and for posterity.

What will we do to identify needs and take the initiative to do them and recruit help from others that can assist?

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