By: Jim Strawn
Full disclosure. I had not heard of Morris Morrison before.
I am doing some work with KVC-WV, Bridgevalley Community & Technical College, YMCA of Upper Kanawha Valley and the City of Montgomery. I was invited to the 1st ‘Rise Above’ Banquet to benefit the YMCA of Upper Kanawha Valley on Friday evening January 19, 2018 at the Holiday Inn & Suites in South Charleston, WV. I was sitting at the KVC table. I could not be more glad that I was there!
The keynote speaker was Morris Morrison. I truly didn’t know what to expect, but it was evident from the get-go, this young man was inspiringly different, in the most awesome way possible.
His energy. His message. His delivery. His ability to resonate with ALL. His engagement. His personalization. His passion. His love for his roots. His conviction for community. His faith. His belief in family. My list could go on and on.
Morris had me at hello. As he did with the other 130 so in attendance. I appreciated his skills, energy and passion right away. He talked about developing people, especially youth. He discussed the importance of gratitude and true appreciation for ‘your’ heroes who molded you to be you. He spoke of reaching your goals. Setting goals. Reaching higher. Doing more. Making your community more vibrant. Working together. The future. Our youth.
You see, his beliefs dovetailed nicely with mine. As I too aspire to help our youth. I aspire to make our community more vibrant and connected.
His story was perfect for the YMCA, KVC and Bridgevalley.
KVC recently purchased WVU Tech and they are incorporating the first-of-its-kind academy for young men and women 18+ who were raised in a foster home. Plans are to open this summer. The collaboration in that community has been nothing short of remarkable after WVU Tech moved to Beckley.
Morris was the perfect person to deliver this message.
Morris understands the challenges foster children face. Especially after turning 18. And he understands transitions.
Morris has had many transitions in his life. He is from New York, but raised by foster parents in Fairmont, WV. Lost both parents at early age. Tells an amazing story of reconnection with his materal grandmother he didn’t know he had. Discusses has touching and emotion goodbye to his foster grandmother. His life stories are many. We all have many, but his ability to compellingly tell his, helps us understand ours. In the end he has 3 messages for your life:
- Don’t be a victim
- Take ownership of your life
- Don’t expect anyone to give you anything
His infectious message left me wanting more. I was fortunate to spend a little one-on-one time with him the following day.
Hopeful our lives cross paths again. Maybe we can even share a platform some day. Who knows.
All I know is my life was touched. My life was validated. I feel like I am on the right path.
Thank you Morris.
You never know when it might hit, but sometimes you meet someone…and your life seems different…better.
Known as a transition expert, Morris Morrison has become a voice that many people and organizations depend on to inspire their teams to pull together in the same direction! Learn more about Morris by clicking here.