Bo Pilgrim Inspires Children - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

02/17/06 - Nacogdoches

Bo Pilgrim Inspires Children

by Donna McCollum

Billionaire Bo Pilgrim knows middle school students dream of being rich. Now at 78 years old Pilgrim knows there's more to life than just money. "How to make a living is one thing. How to live has to go with it. You have to build character," advised Pilgrim before about 700 students.

Each child received a free copy of Pilgrim's memoir, 'A Pilgrim's Progress'. It provides a glimpse into his rags to riches story. Faith is the central theme beginning when he was 13. Pilgrim shared, "I made a pledge to the Lord when I moved in with my grandmother if I ever amounted to anything I would always give him credit for that."

This explains why Pilgrim often includes in a small inspirational book a $20 bill. He can only pray the youngsters will read the scripture that surrounds it, something seldom seen in a public school setting. Pilgrim explained, "It has to be free choice. They have to go get it. I think we need to step up to the challenge. It's getting ridiculous what you can say and can't say."

Pilgrim's inspirational talk commemorates black history month, but he wants all students to know there's one percent of the population that decides to excel. When D'Aundre Garrett was asked if he'll be in that one percent he responded, "Yes. If I just try working hard and to continue to get my grades and keep a good attitude." Student Madison Curl learned, "That if you set goals high enough that you can reach them no matter what. Don't let anything get in your way." To hear that is payment enough for Bo Pilgrim.

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