Story by Jarhonda Roberts. Edited by Isaiah Lipscombe.
Photos by Khaleel Etheridge and Quarvez Boulware.
DECEMBER 18, 2014: On October 28, Stedman Graham educator, author, businessman and Oprah Winfrey’s partner came to Friendship Collegiate Academy as part of his Sonima Tour. A select group of students were able to witness Graham’s motivational speaking skills as he spoke to the Friendship Collegiate Academy students.
Graham graduated from Ball State University in 1979 with a master's degree in education which later led him to become the CEO of the S. Graham & Associates marketing firm. Graham has a daughter, Wendy, from a previous marriage to Glenda Graham.
He briefly spoke about being a leader, not a follower and creating your own identity. “You also must know how to be a follower to lead,” Graham said.
Graham spoke about how to create your own path and how not to be so similar to everybody else based on society’s view because society sets you up to fail and to be like robots going in the same direction. We go to school, go to college, get a job, go to work etc. We as a society do not think outside the box. “Nobody knows who they are, so we need to be active in finding out who we are and not be stuck in a socially constructed box that people put us in doing the same thing that we did yesterday,” said Stedman. So, we need to learn not to be so focused on defining ourselves by a title, but by much more—which is truly stepping back and finding out who you are not what everyone labels you too be.
Jarhonda Roberts is a 11th grade scholar at Friendship Collegiate Academy.
Isaiah Lipscombe is a 9th grade scholar at Friendship Collegiate Academy.