This week I had the incredible privilege of representing Empire Auto Detailers at the Media Sales Institute taking place at Howard University. The late father in law of a seminary colleague of mine, Professor Ernie Fears Jr., was one of the founders of the program, so I was especially excited to be a part. Young people from all over come to the Media Sales Institute to receive training in media sales from experienced professionals in the industry during this ten-day program. They also hear presentations from business owners (like me) and at the end of the ten days, they present media advertising solutions before the clients and recruiters. I had an incredible time presenting my business and interacting with the young people this past Wednesday. The experience reminded me of why I loved being in the classroom as an undergraduate instructor. Young people are so exuberant, bright-eyed, and ambitious. They come with such excitement and personality, particularly those who proudly represent HBCUs. It reminds me of my days at Morgan State and how it was instilled in us that we have "a legacy to uphold and a promise to keep". Whenever the students raised questions they introduced themselves with their name and their school. There was one particular young man in my group who repeatedly referred to his school as "the unsinkable Albany State". It cracked me up every time he introduced himself and asked a question. What I learned later is that Albany State University in Georgia was devastated by a horrific flood in back 1994. While the campus sustained an incredible amount of damage, the school and its community proved to be resilient and yes... unsinkable.
It's that kind of pride and excitement I really miss by no longer having regular involvement and interaction with young college students, particularly at HBCUs. For a brief moment I considered if maybe I needed to be thinking about heading back to the classroom. Then I remembered how much I hated grading papers. No, instead I think I'll seek out more opportunities like this one- opportunities to be inspired by and interact with the next generation of educated professionals currently being prepared, shaped, and molded. I can't adequately articulate the enormous pride and excitement I feel watching these young people do their thing!