The Twitter hashtag #beautifultomorrow was a hot topic at Maurice J. McDonough High School Friday afternoon as students and staff participated in an interactive presentation with a local motivational speaker, Jason Lewis. Lewis performs under the name of Humble Tip as part of the rap group “Humbled Kings Forever” and is a Charles County Public Schools graduate. His presentation titled “The Beautiful Tomorrow” features messages of motivation, respect, accountability and tips for young adults in how to handle peer pressures to stay on a path to success.
“Only you can control your futures, drive your own decisions. It’s up to you to embrace the positives in life and focus on where you want to be in the future,” Lewis said in addressing the more than 600 students in attendance at the event held in the school’s gymnasium. “Each and every person here realizes that no matter what happened today or yesterday, tomorrow is another day.”
The hashtag came in to play on Twitter as Lewis encouraged students to send him questions or topics to discuss through social media. Students tweeted questions about addressing racial tensions in the community and at school, how to start a plan for success and how to show confidence. Lewis then participated in a question and answer session led by McDonough’s student government association (SGA) members.
McDonough senior Sarah Chen is the SGA president and helped to plan for Lewis’ presentation. She said the idea behind the assembly came during a brainstorming session among SGA members. “We met and were discussing how to get through to other students about helping to change the atmosphere… to address cultural tensions and differences. It is important to embrace the environment but we need to work together to keep the positive energy going,” Chen said.
Chen, along with other SGA leaders, participated in a video conference with Lewis before securing the assembly for students. Senior Khalid Shodeinde is the communications secretary for SGA and said he and other SGA leaders were impressed with Lewis’ outlook on positivity and how to motivate others to get involved.
“We were looking for team building activities and how to get students at our school involved. I would say about 40 percent of our student population is supportive of bettering our school climate. We have to get better on working together to make this happen, and this assembly is a motivator to keep us going in the right direction,” Shodeinde said.
The McDonough SGA includes more than 50 students and sponsor Zavonya Covington, secretary to McDonough Principal Steve Roberts, often lets the students organize their own events, fundraisers, school spirit activities and assemblies to empower the students to take initiative in working together to boost a positive school climate. “We have to take the steps to help change the atmosphere among our classmates. It is something we can all work on to make our school a better place,” Shodeinde said.
Earlier in the school year, Lewis hosted his presentation at Henry E. Lackey High School and travels to other schools in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.