• June 6Seniors: mandatory grad practice at 10:35 a.m. at the VBCC on Monday, June10.
  • June 5Good luck to spring sports athletes as they continue into post-season play.
  • June 5Seniors: mandatory graduation meeting held at the school on Tuesday, June 11, at noon.
  • May 29Graduation will take place on June 14, at 1 p.m., at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
The student news site of Frank W. Cox High School

Falcon Press News

The student news site of Frank W. Cox High School

Falcon Press News

The student news site of Frank W. Cox High School

Falcon Press News

Keynote Speaker Eustaus Jerrick inspires student leaders, Leadership Forum

Keynote Speaker, globally renowned motivational orator, and success coach Eustaus Jerrick spoke to students about the Power of Leadership in this year’s Leadership Forum on Friday, March 22 in the auditorium.

As is tradition, the Leadership Forum occurred on the last day of the Falcon Forum. The forum included students who demonstrated leadership from the school’s clubs, honor societies, activities, and sports, were invited to the event by a teacher, sponsor, or coach, and focused on the overarching theme, “Be You, Bravely.”

According to Jerrick, his life had humble beginnings. With only a single mother to take care of him, his family struggled to “make ends meet”, and Jerrick struggled with his confidence in school.

His life changed after his favorite teacher in elementary school tasked the class with sharing one of their goals or dreams for the future.

Initially, Jerrick refused to answer the question, citing his concerns that his dream was impossible to achieve. Still, his teacher spoke to him at the end of class to which he told her of his hopes of being the first member of his family to graduate from high school and college.

This teacher explained that as long as he believed in himself, and focused on the next chapter, rather than worry about his current life situation, “that was half the battle.” With his teacher’s advice, Jerrick went on to achieve his goal and decided to help others with his message of empowerment and leadership, as well as advocate for academic and personal growth.

This year’s Leadership Forum, led by former SCA sponsor Ms. Shumate and her students, began with three icebreakers to “hype up” the student leaders before Jerrick spoke and get them “moving.” After the icebreakers, Jerrick was introduced.

Jerrick began by telling the students to stand up and confidently say, “I am a great leader” so that each person in the room could understand how important they were and look around at their fellow students to understand their impact.

“In a room full of leaders, each person cares to put others before themselves, make the world a better place, and give it everything they have,” Jerrick said.

Afterward, he focused on multiple different topics to take each student’s leadership skills to the next level.

Jerrick began by informing the leaders that they would “Never fully graduate from the School of Learning”, and rather that they would remain in the middle of their story, constantly learning and becoming effective leaders.

He then spoke on the importance of having a vision, as it acted as a guide to help them keep moving forward, and discussed the Power of N.O.W., which stands for No Opportunity Wasted, an acronym that Jerrick strongly supports.

Jerrick then told the students, “True leaders don’t see titles and followers.”  He believed that being a great leader is not about recognition, likes, comments, and views,  but rather about being a gift to others, and understanding that leading one person now is equivalent to an entire generation.

Through showing a picture of a fully-charged green battery, and one that was low-charged and red, he informed students that sometimes it is okay to say no, make mistakes, and focus on oneself, as sometimes everyone needs a “Recharge”.

He then showed students the Evolution of Cars from 1880 to 2020 to broadcast to students that similar to the cars, it takes time to evolve and” get better”, and informed them that to “become more”, they had to take one step at a time.

His final topics were the concept of Seeing vs. believing in which he announced that students had to believe in their dream to move forward, and the Invisible Piñata.

For example, he surprised the students by telling them the wealthiest place in the world: the graveyard. He explained that the reason is that when someone passes away they leave behind their biggest dreams and gadgets that could have helped someone else.

As to the Invisible Piñata, he used a Baseball Analogy to explain.

According to Jerrick, everyone is swinging for something they can’t see. When they assume that the problem is impossible to overcome, they quit, when instead they should keep going despite challenges and adversity. This in essence, similar to making a home run in baseball, would allow them to achieve the “big swing” they truly wanted.

After the forum ended, students left excited and inspired by Jerrick’s words, as they entered the Leadership Banquet.

Some student leaders believed that being a leader was important, and found Jerrick’s presentation on The Power of Leadership beneficial to their leadership skills.

“Being a leader to me means something really important and the fact that I was able to get a whole presentation really improved my leadership ability,” sophomore Brady Martin said.

Others took to heart what Jerrick said about believing in themselves, and the acronym N.O.W.

“I think that we just need to take a chance, like take our opportunities when they come and just believe in yourself because then you can reach your goals,” senior Bailey Gray said.

Some students found it important to take care of oneself, and found this advice to be their biggest takeaway from this year’s forum.

“My biggest takeaway was when he said that being a leader means taking care of others and yourself, too,”  junior Wairimu Kurari said.

Before leaving the banquet, Jerrick gave his final advice to Falcon Nation.

“. . .  ‘Being you, bravely’ is just the importance of students . . . to see the importance of them being okay with who they truly are,” Jerrick said. ” Be okay with being you, but also to walk in a certain level of confidence and authority so you can truly achieve your goals and dreams because again your belief system and how you see yourself will also affect your goals and dreams.”

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About the Contributors
Samantha Radford
Samantha Radford, Editor-in-Chief
Junior Journalism III Student | Anchor Channel 4 Falcon News Historian and Social Media Manager Class of 2025
Erin Horan
Erin Horan, Student Life Editor
Sophomore & Journalism II student. I like to play soccer and field hockey for the school.

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