NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Black History Extravaganza emcee Brice Caraway was instructed to be prepared for anything. The Mike Moses Middle School class president handled his job with ease.
An unexpected television interview didn't phase him. When Brice was asked how much did he contribute to the program he gave the humble response, "Not much. I did help secure the speakers, that's all."
Brice invited his former football coach and current pastor, Reverend James Ervin. Brice was using his head.
"Your mind is your most valuable asset," Ervin reminded the middle school students.
Brice's principal, Angel Rivera provided more good advice. "If you're a positive person, you would accomplish things in life that someone with higher abilities, higher education, would not be able to accomplish because they do not possess a positive attitude," said Rivera.
A sharp mind and a positive attitude will serve all these students well. It's helping Brice.
"This is one of ours," proudly said a volunteer who mentored Brice as a young child. A group of retirees work one on one with youngsters throughout the Nacogdoches Independent School District.
"We tried to make them overlook the negative part and always have that positive side," said Jimmy Scott.
Brice is following the advice. "(I know)To keep my head on straight, get through school, so I can go to college," said Brice.
Along the way, Brice and many of his friends will face different challenges than experienced by the black achievers they learned about today. What is similar, is the obstacles are meant to be overcome.
"Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us," the words to 'Lift Every Voice and Sing,' the National Negro Anthem, were sung by the Sixth Grade Girls Choir.
Future generations must learn a dark past can be replaced with goals and ambitions.
"I want to be the President of the United States," Brice said with confidence. "I love people and I love my community, so that's why I want to be the president."
"Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us", was one more line sung by the young girls.