Motivational speaker urges Mustang seniors to stay on course

Kaili Easton – Mustangs Ahead Editor

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – With approximately 50 days left until the class of 2017 walks across the stage at graduation, LRHS Principal Craig Little introduced Brooks Harper, author, public speaker, and career expert, to an auditorium full of LRHS seniors.

Harper connected with students through catchy slogans, opening his presentation with having students finish popular company slogans such as Nike, McDonald’s, State Farm, and Nationwide Insurance.

During the presentation, Harper called down senior Tori Boudreau to recognize her accomplishments as president of Student Government Association (SGA) and as a Lakewood Ranch community member, giving back to the school as well as needy charities regularly.

“I was really caught off guard but it was really cool to be noticed for things that I’ve done and to have administration recognize me for everything, that’s never happened to me before and it was nice,” Boudreau said.

Harper’s presentation was focused heavily around the acronym, “DOLLAR$”, standing for diligence, organization, learning, leadership, accountability, relationships and speaking. He used experiences from his own life, his daughter’s, and students’ lives he has spoken with in the past to present these points to LRHS seniors in a convincing and relatable way. He connected each word to events common in a high school senior’s daily life as well as experiences that they will encounter as they enter into college life and the work force.

Harper said that although most high schoolers’ resumes say “no job experience,” everyone has years worth of experience being salesmen. Harper asked his audience who had ever convinced their parents to buy them something or to let them stay out later than curfew. He used these examples to create an inspiring argument that everyone possesses aspects of a good sales person, and to never sell themselves short in a job or college interview. He urged students to always highlight their best aspects and what sets them apart from other applicants, as the first thing a potential employer sees on an application is a young age and lack of work experience.

Harper said, “Today’s decisions are tomorrow’s realities,” as he emphasized the importance of what people, especially students, post on social media. Harper made a point that prospective employers and college acceptance directors look at the social media accounts of their applicants, and for students to be mindful of what they are posting, because it could make or break getting a job or getting a spot at a desired college.

Senior Natalie Bertsch said, “I felt really inspired to set goals for myself and was motivated to finish the year strong.”

Harper closed out with his social media accounts, saying that he follows back, but urged students to consider their followers when posting, and saying that they owe it to their followers to post inspiring things.

Harper has a Twitter account, a Facebook page  and an Instagram account.

The presentation ended with the students and Harper chanting “finish strong” with thoughts of graduation in mind.