New Hope students told to ‘Get out! Get up! Go get it!’

Laymon Hicks speaks to students in the Stephen J. Buck Theater (Photo:  Mary Schwande

Laymon Hicks speaks to students in the Stephen J. Buck Theater (Photo: Mary Schwander)

New Hope-Solebury High School students were clapping, laughing, and feeling energized when motivational speaker Laymon Hicks came to visit middle and high school students Sept. 13. The exciting presentation encouraged students to become inspired and follow their dreams and passions. Hicks’ continual theme was “Get out! Get up! Go get it!” and tell all the people who are close to you in life that you love them.

Hicks was raised by grandparents, and had no main father figure in his life, he said. He told students that his life  started to deteriorate following his grandparents’ divorce. He ended up around a group of friends who were making poor decisions, and started trying to fit in with everyone. It became such a problem, said Hicks, that he was booted from the National Honor Society after cheating on a test.

For a time, Hicks explained, he felt like he had no opportunities or options left to succeed. One day, however, he decided that the time to change was the present, resuming his hard work at school and earning good grades. By the time Hicks ended high school, he had a 4.0 GPA and was accepted to Florida State University.

Hicks was proud of himself, but he wanted even more, he said. He went on to become class president at FSU, and attained a master’s degree. Hicks urged audience members to always be working to earn more, and to be more than they ever thought they could be. He emphasized that “failure is not fatal” and one can try and try again to eventually succeed, despite life’s ups and downs.

Along with feeling good about oneself, Hicks also urged students to let their family members know they are loved. One of the students went up to the front stage to call his dad. It was an interactive event, and everyone was asked to cheer, clap, and text one person and tell that person that they love them. The mood was positive, uplifting, and exciting. Hicks did not tell students what to do, but demonstrated through his own life story the lessons he hoped they would take away.

New-Hope Solebury students definitely seemed better prepared to chase their dreams after Hicks’ presentation.


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