by Nick Damarodis, New Hope-Solebury High School, Class of 2015
Students felt energized when motivational speaker, Laymon Hicks, came to visit New Hope-Solebury High School and Middle School on September 13th. An exciting presentation was made to help students become inspired and follow their dreams and passions. His continual motto of the day was “Get out! Get up! Go get it!” and tell all the people who are close to you in life that you love them.
Laymon was raised by his grandparents with no main father figure in his life. Hicks told students that after his grandparents divorced, his own life situation started to deteriorate more than it already had been. He ended up around a group of friends who were making poor decisions, and started to follow along to fit in with everyone.
It became such a problem that he eventually was kicked out of the National Honor Society after cheating on a test.
For a time, as Laymon explained to the students, he felt like he did not have any opportunities or options left for him to succeed. After spending some time feeling guilty about all that he had done, he decided that his time to change was the present.
He went back to working hard at school and earning good grades. By the time Laymon ended high school, he had a 4.0 GPA and was accepted to Florida State University. Laymon was proud of himself, but he wanted even more. He went on to run for and become the Class President at FSU, and attained a master’s degree.
Laymon wanted all of the students to know that they should always be working to earn more, and be more than they ever thought they could be. Of course there will be ups and downs along the way, but Laymon thinks everyone should let themselves know that “failure is not fatal” and they can try and try again to eventually succeed.
Along with feeling good about yourself, Laymon also told everyone to let their family members know they are loved. Some of the stories he had were quite depressing, including when siblings were at the same speaking engagements together and would not say, “I love you” to each other. Laymon forced them to say it.
At New Hope-Solebury High School, one of the students went up to the front stage to call his dad and let him know that he is loved. Everyone was also asked to text one person from their cell phones to tell that person that they love them.
It was an interactive event, and everyone was asked to cheer, clap, and text together.
The environment was positive and uplifting, and at the same time exciting. Students are definitely ready to chase their dreams after Laymon Hicks’ presentation.