Preparing for the Torch: Lessons from the One Hundred
VECA's 10th grade young men have been exposed to a super surprise...the local chapter of 100 Black Men of Valdosta! They have graced us with their hard earned wisdom and guidance from their years of countless hard work and determination to better their lives and create a future they only dreamed of, gained through persistence and as Treasurer Willie T. Head Jr. always says, “It’s not my circumstance, but my choices that define me!"
The 100 talked to us about respect for our culture, our ancestors, and respect for ourselves, and why you should hold your head up high as you walk your streets. They emphasized that education is very important to our futures and how we as young men need to have a plan set in place for our future to be bright and successful. They were also adamant about how we should keep our attire looking professional and business oriented, so that we can look like someone with respect and make good initial impressions upon others.
The experience from these established men who've lived the life and made the same choices that some of the fellow students are already on the path to make, helped push these young men into thinking harder about their decisions and the consequences that may follow. They've taught us that as a whole, no matter the ethnicity, men are to hold themselves accountable for their actions and respect others. We are to protect our children and respect and honor our women. We are to stand up for what's right and never forget to be our brother's keeper. We are stronger, united and focused than we can ever be in discord. The 100 are constantly leaving a positive imprint upon our young men and are motivating them to be strong and intelligent as they are wonderfully designed.
To the 100, as a 10th grade student and as a young man, I speak for my brothers and say thank you for your services to us and we appreciate you for being such positive role models in the community!
Article by Steven Gardner
The 100 Black Men of Valdosta has been a supportive community partner with Valdosta Early College Academy since its existence. The organization has provided support through mentoring, donations, and financial scholarships.