Canton Members Learn Life Lessons
“All the excuses you’ve got – throw them in the trash. Don’t say it. Doing that will help me be successful in life,” says Joyahnni, 11, commenting on lessons learned during a recent mentoring program at the Boys and Girls Club of Central Mississippi Canton Unit.

About 20 middle and high school members of the Canton Unit look confused. Some giggle as Arnel Bolden of Canton, wearing a suit and tie, drags a trash can front and center during a mentoring program about career choices. Interest is sparked.

“What’s an excuse?” asks Bolden, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Canton-Madison Alumni Chapter. Hands fly up with a variety of answers ensuing.

“Some of you want to be artists, actresses, basketball players, engineers…” he says. “You can be all those things you want to be, by putting your excuses in this garbage.”

A few small, wadded-up pieces of paper fly through the air toward the can, symbolizing an excuse of one youth or another.

“There’s no reason why you can’t be successful,” continues Bolden, a State Farm agent.
“Anyone in the room can be successful if you take the excuses away. You’ve got to have the mindset that I’m going to accomplish what I set out to do. I’m not going to let anyone, or anything, or any circumstance stand in my way.”

Bolden and Preston Robinson, with Jackson Public Schools, addressed Club members recently, emphasizing how their attitude, and the choices they make now, can effect their future.

We’re here to talk to the children of the Boys & Girls Clubs about career choices,” explains Robinson, a fellow Kappa Alpha Psi alumni member, “to give them insight how they can take the things they’re doing now in middle school and high school to help them be successful.”

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