Austin Kade Academy

   I am excited to talk about my experience this week. Now some of you know my ultimate career is that I am going to be a motivational speaker. I phrase it that way because if you are going to get people to believe in themselves, you must believe in yourself. I know with the strength and guidance from my Angel Shannon, I can achieve this goal.

   To start with, I need to thank Tiffany Dalling and Nellie Price for inviting me to speak to the students at Austin Kade Academy this week. I play basketball and volunteer at the hospital with Tiffany’s husband Jordan, and we had talked earlier about me coming and talking to the students. Last week at the “What Today’s Women Want” expo, the Austin Kade Academy booth was close to mine. I was talking with Tiffany and Nellie and they invited me to come and speak. I was very excited and honored for this opportunity. As the day got closer, I have to admit I was a little nervous. When the day arrived, I started with the same routine I always use whenever I am going to present anything to a group of people. I prayed to my Angel Shannon and asked her to help me not to be nervous. Then I thanked her for our family and for helping me get to where I am today.

   As I started my speech, I felt very calm. It helped to have some friends in the audience. All I needed to do was look at them and the encouraging looks they gave me allowed me to feel confident. The students participated and gave some very good input. After my speech, Tiffany had me tell them about my foundation. I told them about the purpose of the foundation and that all the proceeds go directly to local breast cancer patients. Tiffany had them break up into groups and do a lip sync song. This was all for the lip sync contest I am doing as a fund raiser. We all got together to watch them, and then posted them to social media. It was a blast.

   It was so nice meeting all the students, but I want to talk about two specific young ladies who I met at the “What Today’s’ Women Want” expo. Their names are Taylor and Hayli. I know without any doubt they are not only going to be very successful, but role models and mentors. It is so encouraging to me in today’s world to know there are exceptional young people like this out there. I also want to thank the rest of the students for their support and participation.

   After it was over, I hoped I had given a good speech. I had a lot of students come up afterwards and thank me. When they told me it was very motivational and inspiring, some with tears in their eyes, I was speechless. I was filled with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. When my family asked how it went, I decided to let them know by quoting Fat Amy from the movie Pitch Perfect; “Crushed it!”

Shannon, I can’t say this enough, but thank you for helping me get here and for always being my strength and guidance. I will always LOVE AND MISS YOU!

Next week: Aloha

P.S. I told the students “This is the best day I have had for a long time. But then again, I don’t get out very much!”