One of the joys of being involved in Learning List is working with the outstanding, passionate educators from across the country who do our alignment verifications and editorial reviews. The other night, I contacted one of our reviewers to ask if she would be available to complete an alignment verification. She mentioned that she was about to host a dinner and asked if we could talk in the morning. The next morning, I asked her how her dinner was. She explained that her guest was a very special former student.
“I met Jorvis when he was a 12-year-old student in the high-poverty, high-minority middle school where I was principal. Jorvis was always well-spoken and believed in speaking his mind, particularly where he felt injustice occurred.
During this time, I met one of Jorvis’ older brothers, who became active on the streets. This brother, truly a challenge, was diagnosed with cancer during this time and died soon thereafter. Through this illness, Jorvis and his younger brother struggled. Jorvis fought harder to be successful; his young brother went the other direction, getting into trouble and mixed up with drugs. Then Jorvis’ oldest brother and his dad were incarcerated due to an incident where the dad shot the oldest brother.
Jorvis went on to high school to become a positive leader and role model. As the new high school principal, I had the privilege of watching him become Vice President of his senior class and handed him his diploma when he graduated. Jorvis enrolled in Texas A&M Kingsville and quickly became a leader in organizations, his classes, and his work. He even became a speaker on the local university radio station.
When he returns to Bryan, Jorvis visits his high school to see his teachers, speak to students about their power to be successful regardless of their circumstances, and he continues to be a leader in his home church.
Jorvis has a Facebook page titled, “Keys2Succeed” which contains his favorite quote: “It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” Jorvis dreams big and truly believes God has a plan for his life. He dreams about owning his own TV station and working with Oprah Winfrey. Recently, his youngest brother was accepted to Texas A&M University College Station because, as he expressed to Jorvis, he has seen how successful Jorvis has become.”
Jorvis has high expectations for himself and believes he can inspire others to have high expectations for themselves no matter what their circumstances.
Jorvis’ “Blueprint for Success in Life!” that got me thinking … setting goals and expectations, isn’t that what standards are all about?
Read more about Jorvis’ “Keys2Succeed” on his website. Jorvis McGee is a motivational speaker for schools and is founder of Keys2Succeed. He’s also a senior at Texas A&M University in Kingsville – Class of 2015. Jorvis can be contacted at email@example.com.
[Contributor: Jackie Lain, Founder and President of Learning List, shared this story.]