The Jack Yates Alumni Reunite Committee [JYARC] recently hosted Mary Wilson, one of the founding members of the Supremes. Mrs. Marla McNeal-Sheppard, JY principal, welcomed her, the JYARC, and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and thanked them for their support. Betty Richardson, JYARC member, introduced Mary Wilson to a crowd that came to their feet with excitement and enthusiasm as the legendary singer approached the podium. Her ‘Dare to Dream’ presentation perfectly supported the JYARC’s objective of enriching the spiritual and educational development of the Yates student body.

Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee, Minister Howard Watson, Yates faculty, students and visitors listened attentively as Mary Wilson presented her approach to achieving success through self-determination. This best-selling author, motivational speaker and businesswoman vividly transported us to a time where obstacles and adversity challenged her personally and professionally but through sacrifice and Supreme faith she reached and exceeded her goals. She shared personal testimonies that detailed her experiences growing up in the Brewster projects of Detroit where performing in a high school talent show she found her calling and the rest is history.

In a smaller setting, several students from the Jack Yates School of Communications interviewed Mary Wilson. She encouraged them to take full advantage of life’s opportunities regardless of their present circumstances and stressed the importance of faith through perseverance. This type of motivational advice is crucial for their growth. It is important for our youth to understand that socioeconomic status or geographic location does not determine educational achievement or limit personal inspiration. They must never lose sight of the fact that we are a proud, strong people and our strength dares us to dream and believe that our God-given spirit dictates we earn our seat at the table. This mental toughness is the fabric that enables our youth to recycle personal challenges into fuel for success.

Raymond Fontenot, JYARC member, joined by Carl Davis and Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz awarded the resources from a previous raffle to the band, football and baseball teams. This presentation was aided by a video contributed by CNN Analyst Roland Martin and other JY alumni that included Muriel Brown Larry, Joyce Smith and Willie Iles. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee also made a special presentation to the JYARC for leading the effort to enhance the quality of life for the students at Jack Yates.

The JYARC thanks Mary Wilson for her work as a cultural ambassador and remains committed to promoting awareness through self-discovery and advancement through perseverance. We ask all interested parties to join us on this journey stated Terry Singleton JYARC Coordinator.

‘Our presence in the lives of our youth is a gift for their future’

Jack Yates Alumni Reunite Committee

1 comment

  1. Lucas Jackson November 30, 2012 9:41 am 

    Did Queen Sheila insist on being in the middle of the photo?

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