Photo Above: Future leader, Sean Beach shakes hands with MLK Junior. Story by Sean Beach.
JAN 13, 2017: On Monday, January 9, 2017, I along with five other scholars at Tech Prep had the chance to attend the Martin Luther King Jr. Hidden Champions Award Luncheon. There were five different honorees: Scottie Irving, Monica Watts, Davina Callahan, Eric Weaver, and Thomas Penny. Martin Luther King III and Ward 8’s new Councilman Trayon White were there. This entire event was about honoring people who decided to turn their lives around and give back to the community.
The event happened at the R.I.S.E Demonstration Center at St. Elizabeths East Campus right across the street from Tech Prep. It was funded and hosted by the Jack Kemp Foundation, a great foundation that loves to help and do more for our community. The speeches given by the honorees were very inspiring. The six students from Tech Prep were the only students there. The honorees really told us what it means to be active in the community.
We learned that we need to help build up the country instead of tearing it down. People have to be able to come together as one and make a change. They also told us how they turned their lives around. For instance, when Thomas Penny was in high school, he got suspended multiple times for fighting. He knew that he could have been expelled. Since his grades met the expectation that his school wanted, the school decided to suspend him. Then he started to work at the F Street Courtyard Marriot Hotel in Washington, DC as a dishwasher at the age of 17. Now at the age of 34, he is the general manager.
In conclusion, we have to be able to step up and get something done for our community. Some things that we should do is just pick up the Friendship’s mission states “to contribute actively to their community” and we really have to do that.
Sean Beach is a 8th grade scholar at Friendship Tech Prep Academy.