LORAIN – Willie Spears, a critically acclaimed keynote speaker, author, evangelist, award-winning teacher, and coach, visited Lorain High School Thursday with a message for students urging them to take up the mantle of leadership.
Throughout his presentation, delivered multiple times during the day to different student groups, Spears conveyed how leaders decide their future.
Willie Spears, a critically acclaimed keynote speaker, author, evangelist, award-winning teacher, and coach, visited Lorain High School Thursday
"What is your favorite place to eat, and what do you like to eat?" Spears asked of one student in the audience.
Not surprisingly, the student quickly responded with an answer.
"Mr. Hero's waffle fries with cheese sauce," she said.
It seemed like an innocent line of questioning, but Spears used it to drive home a point.
"She has a plan for a meal that she says only lasts two minutes," he said. "Shouldn't we also have a plan for our life?"
The reaction from students was a resounding yes.
Again, Spears posed a question to students.
"Why do we have a plan for the food we love to eat but maybe not for our future?"
Spears let students know that while he had never visited the northeast Ohio area, he knew he could ask Siri, a virtual assistant that is part of Apple's operating system, for a set of directions.
"If a GPS can guide me to where I need to be, in a place I have never been, what is your GPS or Goal Planning System," he said. "Leaders have plans. What are yours?"
Spears encouraged students to make sound decisions that help produce good outcomes and, if and when failure comes, to embrace it as part of the success process.
"The reason people succeed is that those are the people that failed more than anyone else," he said.
Head varsity football Coach Damion Creel organized Spears' visit to Lorain High.
Creel said one of the main criteria in his search for the right motivational speaker was "what motivates me, what could motivate my players, and what could motivate my students."
He said Spears reminded him of his passion and what he was striving for within the district as a teacher and coach.
Originally, Spears was brought onto campus to speak to the football team. But in a group effort among building leadership and district administrators, the opportunity grew for more students to hear the powerful message from Spears, who coached at the NCAA Division One and Division Two level, was the athletic director of three high schools, and head football coach of seven high schools.
Before becoming a coach, Spears worked as a comedian and entertainer for Disney Cruise Line.
Students heard a powerful message from 1993 Admiral King High School graduate turned life coach and motivational speaker Christopher L. King.
Spears was not the only guest speaker students heard from this week.
On Wednesday, Students heard a powerful message from 1993 Admiral King High School graduate turned life coach and motivational speaker Christopher L. King.
King's words allowed students to think past their lives and visualize their futures using a mirror analogy as he walked the auditorium looking into his reflection.
Despite a childhood that included neglect, abuse, and stints in the foster care system, King said he can now look at his reflection in the mirror and be happy with the man he sees because his mindset and intentionality in his actions have helped shape his current reality.