Sex, Mentors and Thank You ... An unexpected sort of day.

Gail Davis, 03 March 2011

So I began to gauge the crowd, they were hanging on every word. The teachers seemed okay so I settled down. One example after another, including asking the jocks to profess to their girlfriends that they respected them enough to wait until they could “put a ring on it!”

Andre then shifted from self respect to the importance of being a mentor. In a highly interactive session, he brought two of the youngest girls on stage and two of the youngest boys on stage. He then involved some seniors. They talked about what it was like to be afraid when you first enter high school and how you look up to the older kids. Next thing you know Andre facilitates a mentor program and has seniors sitting with the younger kids and vice versa. The young kids got to pick their mentor. I don’t care what anyone says, it feels good to be wanted - even if it’s by a sixth grader.

Now it was time to move onto one of Andre’s favorite topics showing appreciation. He brought all the teachers to the front of the room and discussed the importance of thanking them for what they do. He reminded the kids that teachers are people, too. They have problems, too. A simple thank you goes a long way. Hello! Is there a parent out there that hasn’t felt that way?

Then he honed in on education. He has each teacher tell where they graduated from college. It brought home clearly the point that education matters.

Another home run and we were off to lunch. What a trip. The Boomerang in Hollis, Oklahoma. We were entertained by local farmer Garland Jones. A local mom , Deana Beanland, treated us to lunch. It was a large dose of hospitality.

So when my sister asked Andre if he wouldn’t mind stopping by the local correction facility and talk to the inmates in the work release program, of course, he said yes. She and Chief were hoping for 10 minutes. Instead, ten inmates … yes, just ten … got a chance to hear a full on one hour keynote tailored to their needs.

This was probably my favorite moment of our “Tour” so far. The details feel too intimate to share.

Let’s just say this: Everybody needs somebody to believe in him or her. If your church is reaching out to prisons, it should be. If you are looking to do community service and you haven’t thought of helping those in jail, detention or prison, you should consider it. One young 24-year-old man walked in with an idea that he was disadvantaged because his family isn’t around to help. Andre told him he is but so was Andre. At this stage, get support wherever you can.

Tonight is the community event at WOSC in my hometown. I am hoping for a big turnout, Altus! See you in a couple of hours.

From the road,