From probation to graduation

April, Staff Accountant for a company providing full-service design and construction services based in Salem, OR told Session 4B of the Leadership Development Lab™:

“In the summer of 2011, I had just graduated from high school. I had a comfortable job and no intentions of going to college. I was visiting at a close friend, who had made all her college-bound plans, at her parent’s house. Her parents asked why I wasn’t going to college. I gave them every excuse in the book, ‘I can’t afford it, I didn’t have a great high school GPA, I’ve got a comfortable job, I can’t even afford the application fees.’

“They offered to let me use their computer to complete the application and even pay the application fees. I said, ‘Wow! Thank you, I guess I better seriously think about it.’ Later that evening, I looked the application over again and sat down at their computer to apply for college. About a month later, I received notice of my acceptance to Corban University.

“This friend’s encouragement and her family’s generosity gave me the boost I needed to get the ball rolling. Because of my low high school GPA, I entered Corban on academic probation. This meant to stay in school, I had to take a few less credit hours and get a C+ average or better my first semester. The Registrar made a mistake and I was enrolled with a full class load. I passed all my classes with flying colors and the next semester I was taken off academic probation. I graduated proudly in 2016 with my bachelor’s degree.

“The lesson I learned from this experience is to listen to the encouragement of others and accept the help others offer. When I accept help from others, I can be much more successful than trying to do everything on my own.

“The action I call you to take is listen to the encouraging words of others and accept the help they offer.

“The benefit you will gain is you will accomplish much more than you ever could all by yourself.”

I was so moved when I heard this story. The course of April’s life and career were dramatically altered forever because her friends saw more potential in her than she saw in herself. They spoke the words that became, for April, a life sentence, building her confidence and motivating her to action. You may have the opportunity today to decree a life sentence, a word of encouragement and praise, that could alter the direction of the life of a friend. Don’t miss it! You are more powerful than you think.

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