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Monfredo: Colin Powell Dazzles the Crowd in Worcester Tech Speech

Saturday, April 05, 2014

 

Gen. Colin Powell meets with several WTHS students.

Worcester Technical High School, a school that continues to receive award after award each year since opening its building in 2006 has once again continued their tradition of the past six years of bringing nationwide motivational speakers to Worcester for their students to listen to their stories of the importance of “never giving up”. The school’s mission is to address the student body prior to MCAS testing and encourage them to do their very best. Award winning Principal Sheila Harrity has had the knack of coming up with an array of “top of the class” nationwide personalities to inspire the students not only for the state testing but to get them to think about future opportunities in life.

Usually, two weeks before students sit down for the state exams, the entire student body and faculty take a field trip to The Hanover Theatre to hear a speaker who has overcome personal adversity to address students about the importance of overcoming obstacles and reaching their personal potentials. Thanks to an anonymous donor the costs for these motivational occasions have been made possible.

As Principal Harrity stated, “Without our donor, these events would not be possible…Such programs are the cornerstone of our school’s effort to address the needs of our students and the challenges that they face as residents of our city. The reforms that have been undertaken in our school give students the vehicle they need to take them to a successful life. This assembly program and our school’s general focus on the importance of student success provide them with this motivation.”

A speaker for the ages

Last week the students had the pleasure of listening to General Colin Powell. For over fifty years, General Colin L. Powell, U. S. Army (Ret.), has devoted his life to public service. Having held senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations, General Powell’s deep commitment to democratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world.

As he acknowledged in his speech he is the son of Jamaican immigrants, was born in Harlem in April of 1937 and was raised in the South Bronx. He was educated in the New York City public schools and after graduating from Morris High School attended the City College of New York (CCNY) where he earned a B.S. in Geology. It was not until he joined the Army ROTC program at CCNY that he discovered his calling and launched his military career. He received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in 1958 and went on to serve in the United States Army for 35 years, rising to the rank of Four-Star General.

General Colin Powell served as President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor. He served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and for President Bill Clinton, and was not only the youngest officer and first ROTC graduate to ever serve in the position, but also was the first African American to do so. During his time as Chairman he oversaw 28 crises to include the Panama intervention of 1989 and Operation Desert Storm in the victorious 1991 Persian Gulf War. Years later, he was unanimously confirmed by the U. S. Senate as Secretary of State.

His autobiography, My American Journey, was a best seller and has been published in more than a dozen different languages. His second book, It Worked For Me, reveals the lessons that shaped his life and career and was published in May 2012. Colin Powell is married to the former Alma Vivian Johnson of Birmingham, Alabama. They live in McLean, Virginia and have three children and four grandchildren.

Blue Ribbon Awards

A shot of the Blue Ribbon Flag awarded to WTHS.

When General Powell entered the stage he was greeting by a standing ovation followed by the unveiling of the Blue Ribbon Plaque and the lowering of the Blue Ribbon Flag. Each year, National Blue Ribbon Schools shine under a national spotlight for all the right reasons. The award acknowledges and validates the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in striving for—and attaining—exemplary achievement. For many, attaining the National Blue Ribbon School award is the realization of a long-held dream. National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models for other schools throughout the nation to show the importance of achievement. The school must be in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state for both reading (English language arts) and mathematics based on its progress in closing achievement gaps between the school's subgroups and the state's all-students group over the past five years.

This prestigious award was recognized by General Powell and then he went on to mesmerize the audience by talking about his days growing up. He stated that he did not excel or even apply himself academically in school and said, “I wasn’t a particularly a good student.” In college, General Powell joined the JROTC and loved it and it changed his life. His parents wanted him to study engineering but he had other plans and decided on being a soldier. During this period in his life, he excelled in the military and academic pursuits for he achieved excellent grades in his 30s while earning his MBA at George Washington University.

Rules to live by

He told the students that you need to look for something you love to do and that you do well. Go for it for it will give you much satisfaction in life. He spoke about some of his 13 rules of life in a book that he had written entitled: It Worked for Me.

1. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.

2. Get mad, and then get over it.

3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.

4. It can be done!

5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.

6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision

7. You can’t make someone else’s choices. You shouldn’t let someone else make yours.

8. Check small things.

9. Share credit

10. Remain calm. Be kind

11. Have a vision. Be demanding

12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers

13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier

General Powell was down to earth with the students and mixed up his talk by giving advice to his young audience for he acknowledged that there were no secrets to success but that the preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. He also told the students that never be afraid to challenge the pros and ask questions. He went on to say that it was important for all of us to give back to the community and make society a better place for everyone.

After leaving the Hanover Theatre General Powell visited Worcester Technical High School, toured the school and then was treated to a lunch prepared by the culinary arts department at the school’s Skyline Bistro restaurant. As one of the students stated, “I think it’s so cool he’s here. I cooked for Colin Powell…I cooked for a general!”

High profile speakers at WTHS

General Powell is one of many high caliber speakers who have come to Worcester via WTHS during the last six years and have inspired students to reach for the “stars” and never give up. Their first speaker six years ago was Elizabeth Murray, who had an Emmy-nominated movie based on her life entitled, “From Homeless to Harvard.

The second year at Hanover was Dr. Ben Carson author of the book, Gifted Hands and who is now a possible Presidential candidate in 2016. Because of his work as a neurosurgeon, Ben Carson has become a lifesaving hero for thousands of people.

Then came Erin Gruwell, a former teacher, who has the distinction of having a movie made about her making a difference in the lives of her students. The movie is entitled, The Freedom Writers. By fostering an educational philosophy that valued and promoted diversity, she transformed her students’ lives.

Next came Chris Gardner from the Pursuit of Happyness. Author Gardner explained his journey from homeless dad to millionaire stockbroker and it was the basis for his autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, and the hit 2006 film of the same name starring Will Smith. His message of never giving up was most inspiring.

Last year the students had the pleasure of listening to Drs. Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins, fondly known as “The Three Doctors” who serve as an extraordinary model of leadership for anyone who’s been through any kind of life challenge or major hardship.

As you can see these dynamic speakers all came to our city of Worcester to help motivate our Tech students to greater heights with the financial backing of the anonymous donor. What a great gift WTHS has given their students! Well done!

 

Related Slideshow: The 50 Most Diverse High Schools in Massachusetts

Prev Next

#50 Curtis-Tufts HS

Medford, MA

Total enrollment: 67

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 4.5%
Black: 27.3%
Hispanic: 13.6%
Two or more races: 0.0%
White: 54.5%

Prev Next

#49 Boston Green Acad.

Boston Green Acad. Horace Mann Charter, Boston, MA

Total enrollment: 324

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.3%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 2.8%
Black: 53.1%
Hispanic: 28.4%
Two or more races: 0.3%
White: 15.1%

Prev Next

#48 Fitchburg HS

Fitchburg, MA

Total enrollment: 1,116

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.1%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 7.0%
Black: 7.3%
Hispanic: 44.8%
Two or more races: 4.1%
White: 36.6%

Prev Next

#47 Global Learning

Global Learning Charter Public HS, New Bedford, MA

Total enrollment: 501

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.8%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 1.0%
Black: 12.6%
Hispanic: 27.9%
Two or more races: 4.2%
White: 53.5%

Prev Next

#46 Lowell Middlesex

Lowell Middlesex Acad. Charter HS, Lowell, MA

Total enrollment: 99

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 11.1%
Black: 2.0%
Hispanic: 38.4%
Two or more races: 5.1%
White: 42.4%

Prev Next

#45 Community Academy

Jamaica Plain, MA

Total enrollment: 67

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 0.0%
Black: 40.3%
Hispanic: 16.4%
Two or more races: 3.0%
White: 40.3%

Prev Next

#44 Quincy HS

Quincy, MA

Total enrollment: 1,519

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.7%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 23.9%
Black: 9.8%
Hispanic: 7.4%
Two or more races: 1.8%
White: 56.3%

Prev Next

#43 Foxborough Regional

Foxborough Reg. Charter HS, Foxborough, MA

Total enrollment: 1,265

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 10.4%
Black: 23.8%
Hispanic: 5.1%
Two or more races: 4.5%
White: 56.3%

Prev Next

#42 Boston Collegiate

Boston Collegiate Charter HS, Dorchester, MA

Total enrollment: 632

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.3%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 1.9%
Black: 25.5%
Hispanic: 15.7%
Two or more races: 2.2%
White: 54.4%

Prev Next

#41 Full Circle HS

Somerville, MA

Total enrollment: 56

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 1.8%
Black: 21.4%
Hispanic: 35.7%
Two or more races: 1.8%
White: 39.3%

Prev Next

#40 Waltham Senior HS

Waltham, MA

Total enrollment: 1,389

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.1%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 6.4%
Black: 11.2%
Hispanic: 30.6%
Two or more races: 2.6%
White: 49.1%

Prev Next

#39 Medford HS

Medford MA

Total enrollment: 1,155

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.3%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 10.0%
Black: 18.4%
Hispanic: 8.2%
Two or more races: 1.9%
White: 61.9%

Prev Next

#38 Snowden International

Snowden Int'l School at Copley, Boston, MA

Total enrollment: 397

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.3%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 7.6%
Black: 38.3%
Hispanic: 41.3%
Two or more races: 3.0%
White: 9.6%

Prev Next

#37 Brockton HS

Brockton Champion HS, Brockton, MA

Total enrollment: 194

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.5%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 1.0%
Black: 41.2%
Hispanic: 19.6%
Two or more races: 2.6%
White: 35.1%

Prev Next

#36 Worcester Tech. HS

Worcester, MA

Total enrollment: 1,358

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.5%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 5.8%
Black: 12.4%
Hispanic: 34.6%
Two or more races: 2.2%
White: 44.5%

Prev Next

#35 Acad. of the Pac. Rim

Acad. of the Pac. Rim Charter Public HS, Hyde Park MA

Total enrollment: 498

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 1.4%
Black: 58.4%
Hispanic: 20.5%
Two or more races: 3.4%
White: 16.3%

Prev Next

#34 Lynn Vocational

Lynn Vocational Tech. Institute, Lynn, MA

Total enrollment: 750

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.8%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 6.7%
Black: 10.7%
Hispanic: 60.0%
Two or more races: 2.9%
White: 18.9%

Prev Next

#33 Boston Arts Academy

Boston, MA

Total enrollment: 445

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.4%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 3.1%
Black: 38.7%
Hispanic: 40.0%
Two or more races: 2.2%
White: 15.5%

Prev Next

#32 Greater Lowell

Greater Lowell Reg. Vocational Tech.,  Tyngsborough, MA

Total enrollment: 2,112

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.5%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 14.8%
Black: 3.9%
Hispanic: 26.6%
Two or more races: 2.6%
White: 51.7%

Prev Next

#31 Amherst Regional HS

Amherst, MA

Total enrollment: 1,004

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.1%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 10.0%
Black: 8.3%
Hispanic: 12.2%
Two or more races: 8.4%
White: 61.2%

Prev Next

#30 Horace Mann

Horace Mann School for the Deaf, Allston, MA

Total enrollment: 111

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 9.0%
Black: 36.0%
Hispanic: 41.4%
Two or more races: 1.8%
White: 11.7%

Prev Next

#29 Everett HS

Everett, MA

Total enrollment: 2,004

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.3%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 4.9%
Black: 23.9%
Hispanic: 32.4%
Two or more races: 1.0%
White: 37.5%

Prev Next

#28 Lynn English HS

Lynn, MA

Total enrollment: 1,611

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.1%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 9.9%
Black: 10.8%
Hispanic: 53.0%
Two or more races: 2.2%
White: 24.0%

Prev Next

#27 Boston Latin HS

Boston, MA

Total enrollment: 2,379

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 29.1%
Black: 9.5%
Hispanic: 10.6%
Two or more races: 3.1%
White: 47.7%

Prev Next

#26 Prospect Hill

Prospect Hill Academy Charter HS, Cambridge, MA

Total enrollment: 1,148

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.3%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 6.9%
Black: 57.2%
Hispanic: 19.6%
Two or more races: 3.0%
White: 13.0%

Prev Next

#25 Brookline HS

Brookline, MA

Total enrollment: 1,832

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 14.8%
Black: 7.9%
Hispanic: 10.3%
Two or more races: 7.0%
White: 60.0%

Prev Next

#24 New Bedford HS

New Bedford, MA

Total enrollment: 2,436

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.8%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 1.7%
Black: 14.8%
Hispanic: 31.1%
Two or more races: 6.5%
White: 45.0%

Prev Next

#23 Randolph HS

New Bedford, MA

Total enrollment: 746

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.5%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 17.4%
Black: 58.7%
Hispanic: 9.0%
Two or more races: 1.6%
White: 12.7%

Prev Next

#22 Charlestown HS

Charlestown, MA

Total enrollment: 935

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.4%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 20.2%
Black: 41.9%
Hispanic: 30.4%
Two or more races: 0.9%
White: 6.2%

Prev Next

#21 Burncoat Senior HS

Worcester, MA

Total enrollment: 996

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.4%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 5.1%
Black: 17.1%
Hispanic: 39.8%
Two or more races: 2.1%
White: 35.5%

Prev Next

#20 Springfield Ren.

Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield, MA

Total enrollment: 705

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.1%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 1.4%
Black: 25.5%
Hispanic: 42.6%
Two or more races: 6.1%
White: 24.3%

Prev Next

#19 Sabis International

Sabis Int'l Charter School, Springfield, MA

Total enrollment: 1,574

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 2.8%
Black: 30.1%
Hispanic: 33.2%
Two or more races: 5.2%
White: 28.2%

Prev Next

#18 Quincy Upper HS

Boston, MA

Total enrollment: 487

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 53.2%
Black: 20.7%
Hispanic: 16.8%
Two or more races: 2.3%
White: 7.0%

Prev Next

#17 Springfield Central HS

Springfield, MA

Total enrollment: 2,086

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 6.6%
Black: 24.1%
Hispanic: 49.8%
Two or more races: 3.7%
White: 15.7%

Prev Next

#16 Mystic Valley

Mystic Valley Reg. Charter HS, Malden, MA

Total enrollment: 1,499

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.1%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 16.0%
Black: 16.6%
Hispanic: 6.2%
Two or more races: 3.9%
White: 57.2%

Prev Next

#15 Univ. Park Campus

University Park Campus HS, Worcester, MA

Total enrollment: 230

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 23.9%
Black: 7.4%
Hispanic: 49.3%
Two or more races: 2.2%
White: 18.3%

Prev Next

#14 Doherty Mem. HS

Worcester, MA

Total enrollment: 1,337

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.6%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 9.3%
Black: 14.1%
Hispanic: 30.3%
Two or more races: 2.2%
White: 43.4%

Prev Next

#13 North HS

Worcester, MA

Total enrollment: 1,295

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.2%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 8.3%
Black: 19.2%
Hispanic: 46.4%
Two or more races: 1.7%
White: 24.2%

Prev Next

#12 Lowell HS

Lowell, MA

Total enrollment: 3,054

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.1%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 32.5%
Black: 9.7%
Hispanic: 24.1%
Two or more races: 1.1%
White: 32.4%

Prev Next

#11 Whaling City Alt.

Whaling City Alternative HS, New Bedford, MA

Total enrollment: 99

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 2.0%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 1.0%
Black: 20.2%
Hispanic: 37.4%
Two or more races: 8.1%
White: 31.4%

Prev Next

#10 Somerville HS

Somerville, MA

Total enrollment: 1,265

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.2%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 11.6%
Black: 15.3%
Hispanic: 39.8%
Two or more races: 0.9%
White: 32.3%

Prev Next

#9 Pioneer Charter

Pioneer Charter School of Science, Everett, MA

Total enrollment: 359

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 2.5%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 8.7%
Black: 37.0%
Hispanic: 17.8%
Two or more races: 0.6%
White: 33.4%

Prev Next

#8 Lynn Classical HS

Lynn, MA

Total enrollment: 1,498

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.1%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 11.8%
Black: 14.3%
Hispanic: 45.6%
Two or more races: 2.7%
White: 25.4%

Prev Next

#7 Cambridge Rindge

Cambridge Rindge and Latin, Cambridge, MA

Total enrollment: 1,741

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.6%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 11.8%
Black: 33.2%
Hispanic: 14.0%
Two or more races: 3.0%
White: 37.5%

Prev Next

#6 Fecteau-Leary

Fecteau-Leary Junior/Senior HS, Lynn, MA

Total enrollment: 157

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.6%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 8.3%
Black: 19.7%
Hispanic: 43.3%
Two or more races: 3.8%
White: 24.2%

Prev Next

#5 O'Bryant HS

Roxbury, MA

Total enrollment: 1,353

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.1%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 21.3%
Black: 37.2%
Hispanic: 28.6%
Two or more races: 1.6%
White: 11.1%

Prev Next

#4 Excel HS

South Boston, MA

Total enrollment: 550

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.5%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 22.5%
Black: 38.4%
Hispanic: 23.3%
Two or more races: 1.6%
White: 13.6%

Prev Next

#3 South HS

Worcester, MA

Total enrollment: 1,264

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.6%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 14.9%
Black: 19.6%
Hispanic: 39.2%
Two or more races: 1.7%
White: 24.1%

Prev Next

#2 Boston Latin Acad.

Dorchester, MA

Total enrollment: 1,689

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.7%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 21.6%
Black: 27.1%
Hispanic: 20.7%
Two or more races: 1.8%
White: 28.2%

Prev Next

#1 Malden HS

Malden, MA

Total enrollment: 1,835

Percentage of total enrollment

Amer Indian/Alaskan: 0.7%
Asian/Pacific Islander: 24.9%
Black: 22.6%
Hispanic: 19.9%
Two or more races: 3.7%
White: 28.3%

 
 

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