Today I was the keynote speaker for the Johns Hopkins Summer "REACH" Program. For 19 years, Baltimore City students have worked during the summer in this program to propel them in the area of medicine. This summer, more 250 interns participated in the program and attended the closing.
I find offering words of encouragement to youth to be simple. However, this time I was saddened by the recent death of an intern who attended my first workshop about leadership, yet was killed the following week after being violently raped. Speaking out against violence is what I have done for years and I wished there was something more I could have said or done for this young lady, Diamond Williams. But God has a purpose for all things and I was relieved to not only participate in the memorial at this ceremony, but offer words to the friends she left behind to motivate them. I believe that they will honor her life and give back to their community as a result.
What a great feeling to have the opportunity to allow these ladies to feel like queens! Today was a very special day.
This young lady told me she did the Miss Pre-teen Maryland pageant years ago and that I inspired her to want to get back into pageantry. Of course I welcomed to the Essence Pageant system... ;)