The LA Times had an inspirational story about young Tyki Nelworth, a senior at Washington Preparatory High School in South Los Angeles. The 18-year old has gotten into the college of his choice, due mostly to his diligence as a student (4.23 gpa), dedication to his teammates (he is captain of the football team, plays baseball, and runs track), and discipline as a rapidly maturing young man (he is president of the student body).
Tyki was born a crack baby. On the streets of south LA, he could easily have given up and made excuses for his life. He has bounced between family members. His father died when he was in the 7th grade and his mother has been in and out of trouble to include a stint in prison on drug charges. This kid had everything stacked against him.
But he never gave up. He dedicated himself to his studies and became a man. He overcame his past and focused on his future. Says Tyki, "I always use past experiences as a motivation...not as an excuse not to do something."
Humbling, isn't it. Many times we do use our past experiences as excuses. Our communities are filled with people who blame their parents, their circumstances, their bad luck, and everyone but themselves for their shortcomings. Maybe it is time that we too use these as motivation.
I have no doubt that this kid will go far. He is an inspration to many, especially in a community that needs role models who demonstrate that anything is possible to those who strive for excellence and never give up on their dreams.
Oh...and the college Tyki will attend in the fall? West Point! Hooah! That's Leader Business.