Jones’ story should inspire our youth to dream big

Published 10:58 pm Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Last week, I was at R.B. Hudson Middle School when Toia Jones off of this season of “The Voice” made an appearance.

Jones, fresh off being eliminated from the competitive singing competition, was in town last week and gave a motivational speech to Bulldogs’ students about never giving up on their dreams or aspirations.

That’s exactly what our youth need to hear.

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Although Selma is a small town, there are plenty examples of people that have spent parts of their childhood here and went on to accomplish great things.

Our job as adults is to make sure that message reaches our young people.

Sometimes, we can say it and say it and say it but it never sinks in. But when someone with Jones’ status takes the time to say it it sinks in.

That’s why what she’s doing is so great, especially in a town with many young people with untapped potential.

Jones, who is from Montgomery, is a great example of someone who refused to give up on her goals and today she’s more than on her way to reaching them. That should inspire our youth.

She tried out for “American Idol” multiple times, but never ended up being what the judges were looking for.

Many people in that situation would have been discouraged, but Jones kept trying and made “The Voice”.

“You all have the opportunity and the possibilities are limitless,” Jones told the students.

“You guys can do anything you set your mind to, and I am a true witness to that.”

During a question and answer session following her motivational speech, she was asked to sing. Without missing a beat, she broke into Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” in the middle of R.B. Hudson’s gym.

Jones is undoubtedly making her rounds around Montgomery and the surrounding cities while her celebrity is known and she should. She should try to get her story out there any way she can so that she can reach her ultimate goal of being a world renowned performer.

But that’s clearly not all she’s doing.

If it was, she wouldn’t have to come to R.B. Hudson Middle School in Selma to talk to dozens of middle school students. It’s clear she has bigger goals and her message is refreshing.

“I feel so grateful before I am here talking to you today, because you all are the future,” Jones said. “I see so much potential just in this room.”

The potential for all of our students really is endless. If our youth set their minds right, dig their feet in and work hard they can accomplish just about anything they want to.

Our local students should truly be inspired by Jones’ story.

If they work hard enough, they can all shoot for the stars, just like she did.