NEW ORLEANS (April 13, 2017) – State Sen. Wesley Bishop reminded students their future is in their own hands during Honors Convocation on March 28 in Lawless Chapel.
Certificates of recognition were given to students during the program making the dean’s list or the honor roll in fall and spring 2016.
The Democrat from District 4, who also is associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies at Southern University New Orleans, told the audience of about 450 people that using your head, your heart and what’s in your hands ultimately will lead you to success.
“You decide how the story is going to end,” he said. Students must “never again settle for less than [their] best,” Bishop said.
As an example that failure doesn’t have to be final “unless you quit,” the Ninth Ward native used a childhood story of his first race for office: He ran for student council at Thomas Alva Edison Elementary. Despite being told by many friends they “had his back,” he ended up losing to his “best boy” who hadn’t even originally planned to run. He said even the friend who nominated him didn’t vote for him. He lost 31-1.
He also noted he didn’t take school seriously at first, either, and only earned a college scholarship because of his test scores rather than his grades. Bishop stressed the importance of starting over, noting that it is never too late. He said no matter your circumstance, you, too, can have a bright future; you, too, can have success.
“Just because you come from the wrong side of the tracks, that doesn’t mean you can’t own a railroad,” he said.
“In high school I had a ‘That’ll do’ attitude,” he said, “If I got a C on an assignment, I would say, ‘That’ll do.’ ”
Bishop said he graduated No. 260 out of a high school class of 319, and he changed his college major four times.
“Ultimately, what I had to learn was that it's never too late for a second chance because you can always try again."
Bishop’s three points were:
- Use your head: Make up your mind to become a headline, not a statistic.
- Use your heart: Believe in yourself; sometimes you have to be the drum major of your own parade.
- Use what’s in your hands: Items gain or lose value, depending on who’s holding it, he said.
“A basketball in my hand might average three points a shot, but a basketball in Anthony Davis' hand could win a basketball championship. A peanut in my hand is simply a peanut, but a peanut in George Washington Carver’s hand can make peanut butter,” he said.