Friday, October 4, 2013

New Hope is told to ‘Get out! Get up! Go get it!’

Nick Damarodis

New Hope students were clapping, laughing, and feeling energized when motivational speaker Laymon Hicks came to visit middle and high school students on Sept. 13. An exciting presentation was made to help students become inspired and follow their dreams and passions. His continual motto of the day was “Get out! Get up! Go get it!” and tell all the people who are close to you in life that you love them.
 Laymon Hicks was raised by his grandparents with no main father figure in his life. Hicks told us that after his grandparents divorced, his own life situation started to deteriorate more than it already had been. He ended up around a group of friends who were making poor decisions, and started to follow along to fit in with everyone. It became such a problem that he eventually was kicked out of the National Honor Society after cheating on a test.
 For a time, as Hicks explained to the students, he felt like he did not have any opportunities or options left for him to succeed. After spending some time feeling guilty about all that he had done, he decided that his time to change was the present. He went back to working hard at school and earning good grades. By the time Hicks ended high school, he had a 4.0 GPA and was accepted to Florida State University.
 Hicks was proud of himself, but he wanted even more. He went on to run for and become the Class President at FSU, and attained a master’s degree.  Hicks wanted all of the students to know that they should always be working to earn more, and be more than they ever thought they could be. Of course there will be ups and downs along the way, but Hicks thinks everyone should let themselves know that “failure is not fatal” and they can try and try again to eventually succeed.
 Along with feeling good about yourself, Hicks also tells everyone to let your family members know they are loved. Some of the stories he had were quite depressing, including when siblings were at the same speaking engagements together and would not say I love you to each other. Hicks would not have it though, and forced them to say it. At New Hope-Solebury, one of the students went up to the front stage to call his dad to let him know that he is loved. Everyone was also asked to text one person through their cell phones to tell that person that they love them.
 It was an interactive event, and everyone was asked to cheer, clap, and text together. The environment was positive and uplifting, and at the same time exciting. Hicks did not tell students what to do, but explained his story and told us what he hopes for everyone to learn from it. New Hope-Solebury students are definitely ready to chase their dreams after Laymon Hicks’ presentation.
Laymon Hicks inspires students (photo by Mary Schwander)

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