During the months of June and July, I had the awesome opportunity to visit Memphis, TN. The Tarik Black Foundation invited me and my daughter Gabrielle to be a part of their summer Girls Life Academy Memphis (GLAM). We were delighted but nothing prepared us for what we experienced. Unlike many summer programs that focus on education, summer GLAM focuses on life skills, leadership and entrepreneurship.
The Foundation has been hosting this summer event for a few years, but this year, they made some changes. They invited young men to join the camp. Because of the change, I received the awesome opportunity to speak to both groups.
This camp actually helped to me to achieve a dream. Gabrielle is only 20 and she is still in training as far as writing and speaking is concerned. Because of this opportunity, we co-authored a long overdue book, The Galaxy Journal. Gabrielle grew up in an environment of writing and the principles in this book served as a foundation for her. Each young woman received a copy and Gabrielle got to speak to them on her own. This was the first time that we did not team teach and something that I knew needed to happen.
While Gabrielle was working with women, I had the honor of speaking with the men. I taught on my book for men, The Conduct of Kings. I do not have words adequately describe what happened except to say that we learned a great deal from each other. they were pleasantly surprised and even requested that the foundation bring me back a second time. Here’s a quote from the president about the presentation:
“Without a doubt Dr. Gail Hayes changed lives these past two days. Her session with our young men had them on the edge of their seats as she talked to them about the expectations, fears, desires and motivators of both genders. She shared the principles of her book, Conduct of Kings and we could not get these young men to break for lunch. After two straight hours they still wanted to hear more. The only time I’ve seen 16 -19 year old guys listen as attentively is when the coach calls a time out and the players run over to listen to the next play. She empowered these young men with such wise counsel and you actually witnessed their transformation.”
Talk about making an impact! While these words blessed me, it cannot compare with the impact these young men and women had on me. Because of them, I am now focusing on my next book on relationships. They provided a miraculous place for me to delve more deeply into the realm of male/female relationships and see things I had never seen before. Even as a wordsmith, I cannot grasp words to describe the experience.
Their willingness to be transparent and open helped each one of them to change their views, shift their focus, and will most likely help them to make better choices. That was the REAL reason the Tarik Black Foundation and I came together. We want to make an IMPACT that lasts a life time.
So, what’s your next move? What impact are you leaving on others. Message me and let me know! I’m listening…