Hawkins Hammers Home Message of Hope


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On Friday, October 26th, our campus welcomed speaker Keith Hawkins.  In an assembly hosted by our Link Crew and Peer Resource teams, Hawkins spoke to a packed gymnasium of 9th graders and leadership students about hope, dreams, and the power inside all of us to do good and be good people.  Hawkins traveled down from Sacramento to make his fifth appearance at WRHS inspiring the students with excellent messages and dazzling the students with a magic trick this reporter still can’t figure out.  It was this message of hope to the students that resonated the most.

“What we think is what we become,” Hawkins began.  “When you have nothing, you have no hope.  When you have no hope, you become reckless.”  Speaking about experiences from his youth growing up in a tough part of Los Angeles, Hawkins took these challenges of life and turned them into an opportunity to not just make it, but to serve people and bring them along with him  (source:keithhawkins.com).  A strong advocate for education and leadership, Hawkins vowed to use his gifts as a resource for good and positive change.  One of his areas of focus was when students create bad habits.

“When you call a kid ‘bad’ for so long, the kid starts to believe it.  There aren’t bad kids.  There are just bad habits.”  Hawkins continued to elaborate on the difference between bad habits and when you’re just figuring life out.  “Coming late is a bad habit.  Not turning in homework is a bad habit.  Coming to school helps promote responsibility, and when you’re successful, you create good habits.”

The message of hope continued to resonate throughout the gym.  Students sat quietly, and the engagement was high during Hawkins’ presentation.  As Hawkins moved across the floor, he continued to hammer home his message.  “Self-doubt doesn’t want you to be successful.  Self-doubt controls your life.  You are not controlled by self-doubt.  When you come to school, you have hope.  When you have hope, you got something going that is positive and anything is possible when you have hope.”

Tackling today’s challenges is difficult.  When you address the problems and are not isolating yourself, you have respect.  “I always want kids to challenge the way they are thinking.  You all did that today, and I’m proud of you,” Hawkins concluded.