Change is Gonna Come

Posted November 17, 2015

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
– Maya Angelou 

Change in the Shelby County Schools is happening right now. Lately there have been some questions about the quality of education kids are receiving from their institutions. We are all paying taxes for SCS and we should all support them. Superintendants Dorsey Hopson and Reggie Porter and their staff are some of the best educators in the country. I believe, given a little time, that they will turn our school system into a nationwide model. I can assure you change is coming for the better. Just because kids are poor doesn’t mean they can’t learn.

I know first hand. I have been in one of the so called worst schools in the county, Wooddale High, or, as it’s affectionately known, “Hooddale.” Wooddale is in Parkway Village, which some people think of as a “lost” community. I am here to tell you it is not. Our company has been a part of this community for over 46 years and Wooddale is my alma mater. It has also been our Adopt-A-School since MCS began the Adopt-A-School program in the 80’s, so I am a little biased.

At Champion, we don’t just give the school money or products, we get involved. I try to speak at the school at least 4 times a year or more. We go to their ball games at least a couple of times a year. I attend events at the school whenever invited and we do donate quite a bit of branded products for school spirit.

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke to approximately 70 kids, mostly Sophomores and Juniors. I told  them a bit about me and why I still love my high school. I asked the kids to answer, in writing, the question “What do you want?” Many had never been asked this and didn’t understand the question. I explained that you can get anything in life that you want if you change your circumstances. To accomplish this, you must set goals. To set goals, you must know what you want. And to know what you want you must write it down. The responses not only surprised me but I had to catch myself from being emotional. Here are a couple.

“When I graduate from high school, I want to go to the Army and be successful in life. I want to place my pride and effort in everything I do in the future. I have faith that I will finish college and carry myself like a young gentleman.” -Dorian Neal

“I want to graduate from high school with a full scholarship to attend college. I want to grauate college and become a Pharmacist. I want to work hard enough to become fianacially stable. Three things I need to do to reach my goals, stay focused, work hard, and remain humble.” – Shunika Cooper

Dr. Otis Clayton and his staff are on the right track at Wooddale. Just like the majority of our Shelby County Schools. If you don’t believe me, just visit one and see for yourself. They will be so glad to see you and you will better for it.
Love, Mike Bowen
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