By Larry D. Veal, OurTown National News Editor,
As we come into a new year of promise, it is so important for us to remember where we have come from last year, in 2013.
So, in the mist of over abundance of joy, or the lack there in, I want you to wake to this heart felt story of a man, who now bows to the man he calls Larry Veal Jr. .Enjoy !
"Determination, determination, determination. That was the word that I can recall constantly thinking about in the summer of 1984, thrirty years ago today", exclaims Mr. Larry D. Veal, CEO of www.bmoepositive.org.
He adds, "It was only my determination that could enable me to leave the crime ridden inner city neighborhood of Indianapolis, where I spent the last twelve years. My only hope was to attend a college.somewhere.
As I recall, I am stilll so thankful for the opportunity to go on a field trip with my church, St. John's Missionary Baptist. After that trip, I had my eye on only one school, Paine College".
This college was over a thousand miles away from home, and it was located in Augusta, Georgia.
For some reason, I was drawn to this campus, perhaps it was because of the school's rural proximity.I already knew that a big city college would only ignite my desire to do what I had done all my life, "hustle'."
Now keep in mind, that Paine College had sent me at least three rejection letters, which all stating that my poor SAT scores, and my 1.9 GPA, made me ineligible.
However, as a very, very new Christian . I read in the Bible that God can make miracles happen. Even though, I understood the college legitimate rationale, I prepared myself for a thousand mile southern journey to Paine College.
So with that train of thought, I took the chance of a lifetime, to go, without an official acceptance, all the way to Augusta, Ga.via Greyhound with only $50 bucks in my pocket. Talk about, 'All In Attitude ' !
Understand, that I had never been on a trip by myself before this endeavor To add to my stress, I didn't know anyone who went to this college, or any body living in the area. I simply decided to put all of God's Trust, in the same plastic trash bag, with my clothes, along with a pillow case filled with snacks.
I was at the point of no return. I was on a midnight Greyhound Bus to Georgia. What was so wierd was that I was so eager to travel to a small town, in Georgia., named Augusta.
After Paine College Dean of Admission Mr. Utley, heard about my hardship story, he allowed me to officially enroll, as long as, I took the three most basic courses, ' English, Math, and Reading 101'. That didn't matter to me because, I was so excited to finally be a real college student.
Its amazing what youth can allow you to do, and at times the direct cause yo will have to suffer decades later. One thing is for sure, the move I made in 1984, was the best move, I could have ever made, even with a low SAT !
Many years have pasted me by now. However, I also remember the promise I made to the Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Williams. I told him that one day I would make them proud.
Five years later to the date I first set foot on this great college campus, I graduated with honors. Moreover, almost 20 years after enrolling in 2005, Paine College honored me with "Outstanding Alumni Honors.!"
The honor was bestowed on me for creating one of the largest mentoring initiatives in America, "www.BMoePositive.org ".
Through my involvement with communitiy leaders across America, allowed me to find my God Given Talents, which is to teach, inspire, and coach our youth.
www.bmoepositive.org " has inspired over 100,000 students with our curriculum and speeches from 1994-2004 in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas and California.
Also during that time, I served as consultant for some of the nations most notable youth organizations, such as, National Police Athletic League, National Youth Crime Prevention Council, National Drop Out Prevention Center, numerous Cities and Schools, along with PACE Center for Girls and Kids Across America.
Our non-profit organization has also received personal letters of recognition from Hillary Clinton, Former President Jimmy Carter, members of Congress, and officials with the United States Department of Education.
Those accomplishment, though great indeed paled in comparison to my biggest accomplishment, that is the one that came in the mail, on a winter day in 2012.
It was a letter to his oldest son Larry Veal Jr. an acceptance scholarship letter from Harvard University.
Surely, you have heard the ole saying, "The nut does not fall too far from the tree!"
America, Larry Jr. fell straight down to the tree trunk, named Dad, (Larry Veal) . It was a windless day.
They said not a word. They just simply smiled at each other, because they knew that they will always stay together forever, in mind, spirit, and soul, even if they are thousands of miles apart !