Students First – Change is in the air

“Change is in the Air” at Immokalee High School (IHS)! At least that was the theme as motivational speaker and 2007 IHS graduate, Ramces Rouzard, brought his talk show, “The Reflection Show,” to the auditorium stage last week and with it, some very special guests. Orlando radio personality Mimi Steward from WOKB’s Peace on the Street, 2007 IHS graduate Joshua Washington from the Joshua Mentality, 2007 IHS graduate, writer, and author Pierre Alex Jeanty, and celebrity motivational speaker John Humphreys sat in front of the crowd of students to share one very important message, “Your Experience Matters.”

The Reflection Show was brought to IHS as part of the school’s Golden Ticket Assemblies which focus on social and emotional wellness. Selected students received a golden ticket to enter the auditorium to take part in this very special event.

The message was all about positivity, change, and success. Just one of the questions up for discussion was why youth should be mindful about decision-making at the age they are now. “Your decisions have legs,” shared Joshua Washington, “Those legs will carry you into your future. Whatever decisions you make will determine the future you encounter.” The discussion continued on how to strengthen your “legs” and included other topics, an interactive session for students, and a musical guest performance by Marsha Elle.

The afternoon was a truly remarkable experience. To have former students who have gone off to become successful, positive leaders in society come back to share their experiences with current students is a sight that all educators long to see. Those former students came from the same background and once sat in the same auditorium seats that our students now sit. They can relate to the struggles that our students currently face.

At one point in the discussion, Ramces had the students exclaiming, “If you do something, you will become something!” For Ramces, Joshua, and Alex, they did something, they became something. We hope and believe the same for our current class of 2019.

Jennifer L. Kupiec is the Specialist, Communications & Community Engagement Collier County Public Schools

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