I’m sure most of you who are in the workforce, or getting ready to enter the workforce have heard that phrase often – it’s all about networking. Networking is supposed to gain access to new opportunities you may not have had without that network (most likely a person).
I have always wanted to become a public/motivational speaker on topics that affect my life such as teen pregnancy, depression, and attaining goals and aspirations despite hard circumstances.
As some of you know, I graduated high school with honors this past year despite having a child at 16 and switching from regular school, to online, and back to regular school.
While the end of my senior year was approaching we had many senior meetings with our principal to discuss different topics such as the graduation ceremony, graduation requirements, moving onto college, and staying a part of our school family.
During one of our meetings, I believe it was the last one, our principal noted that even though we were moving onto bigger and better things, to never forget the family we had there. He spoke of times former students would e-mail him expressing their thoughts and views on things going on at the school, and ways to improve student life. He told us that he appreciates those e-mails and to always let him know of any ideas we have, or even just to say “hi”.
That struck a chord in me and I sat on it all summer long. Then, one day I finally stood up and took action on my thought. I had been working all senior year to guest speak in classes about being a teen parent. Plans fell through however. I decided I would take up my former principal on his offer to e-mail him any ideas we came up with. So I e-mailed him.
In that e-mail I told him about my experience throughout high school, as I know I went to a school of over 2000 students and peoples’ stories can become lost in the crowd, unless you’re in the principals office often, which I never had been. I couldn’t even tell you where his office was. I expressed my desire to become a public speaker someday and thought that speaking at the high school would be a great stepping stone into that world.
I patiently awaited a response. I also kept in mind that I contacted him during the hustle and bustle of back-to-school time, so I gave it a while.
Then I heard back from him and I was pleasantly surprised! He forwarded the e-mail to one of the health teachers, who contacted me shortly there after. He wanted to set up a meeting with me to discuss my idea for the speaking arrangement with him and another health teacher at the school. Of course I was happy to do so!
I went to the meeting and it went great, regardless of my nerves. He said he would contact me soon, after he ran it by the principal again just to make sure it was alright to book me for a speaking time. I didn’t hear from him for a while and began to lose hope. I started accepting that maybe this opportunity wasn’t the right one and I would come across another.
Then I had this inkling to check my e-mail today. Just to make sure.
Low and behold I had an e-mail! I got a date for my speaking opportunity and I couldn’t be any happier! Now I can start planning what I’ll talk about and the activities that I will have the students do.
But, that’s not it!
My former principal also forwarded the original e-mail I sent him onto the student achievement advisor. I got an e-mail from her as well. This is the big news.
She told me of a High School Forum that’s held at a local church each year. This is where guest speakers come to speak about various topics related to sex education, relationships, self-esteem, and teen pregnancy. 10-20 students from each high school in our district (which is the largest in our state) attends the forum.
So what’s the big news? (I love keeping you on the edge of your seat!)
She invited me to be the keynote speaker for the event!
Yes, you read that right! ME – the keynote speaker at an event! How amazing is that?! Just truly amazing! I can’t thank my former principal enough to give me these opportunities and give me ties to these people in my community. I also can’t thank the teachers that I met with enough for opening their classrooms to me, to allow me to share my story in hopes it will affect these young persons’ lives.
I am beyond thrilled and ecstatic for these opportunities I’ve been blessed with.
you don’t fit the requirements for your dreams yet,
become the requirements,
chase your dreams and you will succeed,