On September 27, 2016, Communities In Schools of Tennessee at Memphis wrapped up Attendance Awareness Month with “I’ve Got the Power,” an attendance rally to show students the value of their attendance and inspire them to succeed. The rally was held at First Baptist Church at 2835 Broad Avenue, with a morning session geared toward elementary/middle school students and an afternoon session for high school students. The agenda boasted incredible student performances from original raps and songs by Riverview K-8 and Westside Middle School in the morning session and the Hamilton High School, MLK Prep School Bands and Melrose High School Dance Team in the afternoon session. It also featured opening remarks from Mr. Elliot Perry and a dynamic emcee in Fox13's Jeremy Pierre. An alumni speaker from MLK Prep, Frederick Raymond, joined us for the afternoon session and spoke about the role his site coordinator, Mrs. Katrina Arije, played in his life and his success.
Prior to the event, each of our site coordinators submitted the names of students who have shown progress this year in achieving their attendance and behavior goals. Four students from each session were given awards for their hard work and every student nominated was recognized on the big screen with a shout out for their success. Schools also participated in a poster contest and were recognized for their hard work and creativity!
Keynote speaker and former NFL player C.L. “Shep” Shepherd delivered powerful, inspiring messages to both the morning and afternoon sessions, telling his life’s story and encouraging students to strive for success no matter what obstacles they are facing.
From his biography – “As a former football player who was blessed to have participated on every level of competition, Shep attended Florida Atlantic University and was a leader on his team that was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007. Upon graduation, Shep was also blessed to train in the National Football League. Despite his many achievements, he still was not satisfied… Shep served as an FCA Character Coach for seven years with tenures in Atlanta, GA, at the University of Michigan, and the University of Pittsburgh. Today, as the Founder and CEO of Keep the Change, Inc., Shep now desires to “make plays” off the field by making a difference in others’ lives. As a nationally recognized sports chaplain, and character/life coach, Shep conveys this message to all people, regardless of race, gender, denomination, class or age demographic, igniting them to live a life of purpose and to make every day count.”
Thank you to Shep, our guests, our speakers, First Baptist Broad, our generous donors, our staff and our amazing volunteers for making this day incredible and inspiring for our students! For more photos from the day, check out our Facebook album here. To learn more about Shep, visit his website here.