YES event explores “Pathways to Success”


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (November 16, 2012) — The Youth Empowerment Summit concluded at Tuskegee University Thursday evening. The annual event, hosted by the College of Agriculture Environment and Nutritional Sciences and Cooperative Extension Program, is a conference for middle and high school and college students. Themed “Pathways to Success,” the summit included workshops and sessions that addressed topics such as bullying, college planning, youth entrepreneurship, healthy behavior, leadership, life skills and science and technology.

The closing banquet for the two-day event was held Thursday in the ballroom of the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Tuskegee University. Tuskegee University president, Gilbert L. Rochon, delivered welcome remarks and shared some information about the university’s future plans to strengthen ties with the surrounding community.

“There’s no way that we can advance and aspire to the stellar doctoral research university that this institution’s history so richly deserves unless we’re in a thriving community that has a K-12 institutional set-up that prepares students to move… to collegiate opportunities and graduate professional school,” Rochon said.

The keynote speaker, William “Bill” Winston, founder and pastor of Living Word Christian Center in Forest Park, Ill., spoke to the audience about the mentality for achieving success. Winston said vision should always be a model for planning.

“Success or failure is determined by what you see,” Winston said. “The key to it is you don’t see it with your eyes. You see through your eyes. You see with your mind.”

Winston also said “boxed thinking” can hinder success. He said being afraid of failure, becoming attached to comfort zones, not recognizing resources and feeling inferior are obstacles to innovation and creative thinking.

“I don’t think you’re here by some coincidence. I really believe that the reason that you are here is because there is some purpose for your life and it’s a purpose for greatness,” Winston told the audience. Don’t stay in that box. Don’t look for the easy way out.”

© 2012 Tuskegee University

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