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Courageous Woman Magazine DECEMBER 2016/ JANUARY 2017

Published on Dec 13, 2016   Click HERE for original source.


Marlynne Frierson Cooley as Harriet Tubman, a One Woman Show!

MENIFEE: Black History Month Inspires Kids

Students at Hans Christensen Middle School in Menifee were treated to an inspirational group of speakers in honor of Black History Month at a school assembly Friday.

Passion, perseverance and purpose were recurring themes at the mid-morning assembly.

Students sat quietly as Marlynne Frierson-Cooley took the stage as historical figure Harriet Tubman. The theater teacher, dressed as a slave and holding a wooden staff, told stories of what life was like after escaping slavery and helping other slaves do the same.

“While on the underground railroad, we would go to abolitionist homes and knock on the door. They would ask, ‘who is there’ and we would answer, ‘friends with friends,’” Cooley said.

School Principal Ed Resnick said this was the second time this assembly has taken place in the three years the school has been open.

“This is just an awesome assembly,” Resnick said. “The first time we put this assembly on, we only had one. When the rest of the campus found out about the speakers from the other students, we realized we made sure all students had the chance to attend.”

Another speaker, pediatrician Billy J. McCarty stepped on stage and shared with the students how he found his passion and purpose in life.

“My parents passed away when I was younger and I knew then that I wanted to be a doctor,” McCarty said.

He added that when he was in medical school, he and his wife had twins that were born extremely prematurely and both son and daughter died after spending six months in the hospital.

“My son passed away on Thanksgiving day and my daughter passed away on Christmas day,” McCarty said to a silenced audience.

“Now, don’t be sad; this isn’t a sad story because that experience drove my purpose to become a pediatrician and give back to the community, which brings me great joy,” he said.

He finished up his presentation by asking the students to think about what impact their actions will make on others.

“What will the world say about you?” He asked the middle-schoolers.

Many students cheered and whistled as each speaker finished their segment.

Students gathered around the stage after the assembly to shake hands and talk with the speakers.

Jacqueline Wood, a 12-year-old 7th grader, said

that listening to the speakers affected her life and showed her how to be a better person.

“I am so inspired,” she said. “It’s OK to be your own person and to be yourself.”

When asked what her passion and purpose in life was, she said, “photography.”

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