There are several ways that connections are created. One of the most important is when 2 or more people have like minds and spirits. The more people that are connected to the power source, the more powerful the current. I was fortunate enough to attend the Maryland institute for Minority Achievement and Urban Education Summit at University of MD College Park. I was absolutely blown away. There was a program for minority students and parents to learn more about preparing for the transition from high school to college. Before we got there, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I wasn’t sure if we were going to just tour the campus or if we were going to go to football game. What we received was far beyond my expectation. First the parents and teens were separated into 2 groups. We had a seminar led by Krystal Henry, one of the great educators for Baltimore City, concerning the cost of a college education and some information about how to pay for it. We also talked about what is needed for students to be accepted into college and how to prepare for the transition. We discovered as parents, we all run into the same barriers or similar barriers with our modern day teens. They are the technology generation, so most of their communication is done on the cell phone or other devices which has somewhat stifled their ability to communicate in person. We want to protect them and the only way to do that is to make sure we are well informed and we equip them with the tools they need to make the best decisions for their lives. During the parent seminar we felt connected. We supported one another. We were told that the kids were receiving much of the same information that we were getting, but they had additional things to do. Ultimately, they are responsible for their education and they have to prepare for their next level of adulthood. Another part of our day was a presentation from a power couple Meshelle “The Indie Mom of Comedy” and Dr. LaMarr Darnell Shields. They spoke to all of us from a very real perspective. There was absolutely no sugarcoat, no pacifying or spoon feeding. They spoke to the kids about the importance of education and moving beyond your current circumstances. Our young brown men need to experience this move of positive flow because they are often bombarded with the negative stereotypes of black men. They are often left with a feeling of defeat and a “Why should I even bother” attitude when they see the outcome of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin’s lives that abruptly ended before they really ever got started. Our brown young girls need to hear a word from powerful women like Meshelle, who came from very humble beginnings but developed a determination to change the reality of what seemed like her destiny. I was thankful for the opportunity to experience the day with my young man. It had a great impact on us both. Eventhough I’m an adult, I get discouraged. Life isn’t always picture perfect and sometimes I need a word of encouragement to reenergize my motivation and my determination. I would be remised if I didn’t thank Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant and Empowerment Temple for giving our children, the next leaders of the world, the chance to get a snapshot of what is well within their reach, if they just grab it. Proverbs 27:17 -As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.