(09/20/13) - NBA Hall of famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson shared some words of
wisdom with local high school students.
He is in Mid-Michigan to support the Saginaw Promise Zone Scholarships.
Johnson spent the morning talking to about 20 students from the Saginaw School District. He told them that getting an education is one of the most important decisions they'll ever make.
He talked about the importance of having dreams and overcoming challenges. He shared some of his personal experiences and told them that in order for him to be successful, he had to work hard to improve his grades.
"Growing up poor like I did doesn't mean you have to have poor dreams and you can still say to yourself, 'I want to escape this I want a better life for myself, for my mom and dad.' I was the first one to go to college, so that allowed my other brother and sisters to follow me," he said.
Johnson's high school guidance counselor told him he needed to improve his reading and his grades if he wanted to go to college. His positive message hit home with students growing up in a city that's seen its share of crime and poverty.
"Today it was great, I just really appreciate Magic Johnson because he comes back to pour his wisdom on youth in the city of Saginaw," said Chris Garrett, tenth grade, Arthur Hill High School. "His nuggets that he gave today, especially about never giving up, you never give up, he really stressed never giving up so that was good."
Johnson made a promise to three Great Lakes Bay Region businesses that if they donated $10,000 to Saginaw Promise, he would give them an hour of his time. Saginaw Promise provides college scholarship to high school graduates.
Dow Corning made a donation back in April. Johnson also made a donation to the program.
In 2010, the state selected Saginaw as one of 10 school districts in Michigan to become a Promise Zone. This allows communities to raise money for scholarships.
"They really care about helping these young people, whether it's sending them to college, also making sure that as a young lady and a young man that they can help them grow in terms of life skills and that's why it's so important and the kids have an organization that really care about them. Young people want people in an organization to care about them," Johnson said.
"We're getting momentum from the community and we really do appreciate that," said Dr. Carlton Jenkins, Supt., Saginaw Schools. "It's been a lot of support in our community, not only just from our business people but other individuals stepping up and they're seeing the realization of the Promise children going to college."
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