“One Day At A Time . . .”

graduation

Happy Hump Day, y’all!

Yes, I am still here … marking time as we used to do in the marching band activities at Highlands Jr. High! Does anyone remember the days when we had … elementary school followed by junior high school and the ultimate experience was high school?! Yes, I am dating myself a bit, too! No shame in my game!

This is the season of graduations! Congratulations are in order as the festivities continue into parties, summer fun … and getting ready for the fall. It is all so exciting for the youth as they “strut their stuff” in “caps and gowns”! I personally want to mention two great nephews, meaning they are sons of my nieces … though I hope they continue in their paths of “greatness”! Trent Beasley, who just graduated from middle school in Port St. Lucie, FL where he resides with his mother and my sister, loves academics, is very sociable and loves to play basketball. I remember when he was younger and different people around our family tried to push him into the “Florida Sport” … football. He was chunky and short, so … they figured that this is what he would excel at. He decided differently and has kept up his grades while playing basketball and staying out of trouble. He is now much more slender and sinewy!

My other great nephew is Jovan Cook, son of my late sister’s son, Daric and Janet Cook out of the Bronx, NY. Now, Jovan literally grew up in the asphalt jungle of the Bronx around much mayhem and confusion, but got an offer to attend a Quaker private school there in the Bronx … and took it! He has grown up so nicely in spite of the environment in his neighborhood there in the Bronx. His experience is much like mine was when I attended St. Paul’s School, though I moved to and lived in New Hampshire at this Episcopalian Preparatory School, St. Paul’s. Jovan has participated in numerous programs – both academic and athletic – and excelled in both areas, earning himself a full scholarship to The University of Virginia, another fine school. While his parents did their best in the face of tremendous odds, Jovan had people at his school who could see his abilities and his desires … and encouraged him and opened doors that are normally closed for young “black” men in the Bronx, NY. So hats off to you, Jovan … and all the other graduates who took things “one step at a time” to achieve their high school, college … even middle school … graduation. A special shout out to Christian Thomas, former head organizer with ACORN during my training in Nashville, TN, who graduated from law school this school year. Keep them coming!

Peace,

John I. Cook

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