Excerpts from Rev. Grubb’s speech at recent STRIVE (a work-ready program) Graduation, of which three CCA residents took part.
I’m here because I believe in the opportunity that all of us have to grow, to develop, to find purpose, to try new things, to be excited about life and to think about that better future. Each and every day, all of us make choices—large ones and small ones. Small ones like “What am I going to have for breakfast?” Large ones, “Ok. I’m going someplace special today so I need to dress up.” Significant choices and even insignificant choices. Life-changing and life-sustain-ing. Sometimes, those choices are temporary—like a living situation—and sometimes they are permanent. Sometimes, the choices are “the best under the circumstances.” Sometimes positive. And sometimes, not so positive. We even make choices that are based on selfishness. And sometimes, particularly parents, make choices that are selfless, for the betterment of their children, their growth and development, opportunities and their best future.
Aspirations—all of us have them. But unless they move to action, they are simply things in the cloud. Our choices are [not only] to live…but to be alive. You know what it means to feel alive—you’ve got purpose and meaning…To work and to prepare for work—in many ways that is what the STRIVE Program has attempted to do and will continue to do.
To be a person of hope even in the midst of challenges. Because all of us have our ups and downs in life. But, to hold on to that hope is critical to taking any future step, whatever that step may be, especially one that is in a positive direction. To play for fun…but also, to play to win—that takes determination. To work to win. That requires aspiration—you gotta want it. If there’s something right in front of you that you really want and it’s yours to possess, the only required [thing] is the action to receive that which is in front of you.
And all of the graduates today and graduates of STRIVE in the past—who have been able to make it through to the end—had a plan, had a purpose, had a desire, and yes, were encouraged to take the step, knowing full well that you are not walking this road alone. The evidence for me is here today.