Personality Profile: Eric Thomas
James Hicks | On 02, Sep 2010A good friend of mine shared a video with me on Facebook today.
The video was of a speaker, talking with college students about the real secret to success.
Now, many of us have our own definitions and perceptions of success. But, regardless of what that looks like for each of us as individuals, there is some serious effort focus and determination that must occur in order to truly consider yourself – successful.
The video that I saw today really sparked a flickering flame inside of me. I’ve been working tirelessly for the past 8-10 months to make HicksNewMedia a relevant organization within the technology consulting and social media integration industry. It’s a hard and crowded field to get in and make an impact. At times, I pass out from exhaustion in my office after hours of coding, blogging, design, development, whatever. But I know, at the end of the day – it’s going to be worth it. At the end of the day, I’m going to be successful. This video was extremely timely. It touched me, and has touched numerous of my friends that I’ve shared it with in the past 24 hours.
With that, the INFOtainment News Personality Profile for this month is, Eric Thomas.
Eric Thomas is a man making a positive impact on everyone he comes in contact with.
He focuses much of his efforts on the youth within our communities, but his message and delivery of speaking is so powerful that many elders and peers find his passion for education something that can’t be dismissed.
Eric Thomas is a renown speaker, educator, author, activist and minister. Thomas is rising to national prominence by delivering a high energy message that tells youth through first hand experience how to live up to their full potential and greatness and by breaking the cycles of crime, hopelessness and despair that many face daily.
Known for his engagingly personal approach, his messages are both dynamic & inspiring. When coupled with his own “Cycle-Breaking” experience his blunt essays on reality and remarkable ability to reach even the most jaded of minds, has helped thousands of youth nationwide become peak performers academically, spiritually and personally.
Eric has electrified audience’s ranging from Fortune 500 companies to urban educators, college football programs and inner-city youth development agencies with the message of his own life’s struggles and the principles, insights and strategies he used to overcome them.
Eric is no stranger to the ills that plague our communities as he was born in Chicago, IL and raised on the streets of Detroit, MI. His childhood and adolescent years were difficult, and his life struggles and personal identity issues were intensified because like so many, he did not know his biological father until his late twenties. At the age of 16, defiant and hardheaded, Eric decided to leave home and drop out of school, choosing to live on the streets of Detroit and support himself through a life of theft, gambling and other illicit activities.
By divine intervention at age 17, Eric met a pastor who saw him a young man with tremendous unrealized potential. As a result, their mentoring relationship was born which led Eric to complete his GED and to prepare for college. Determined not to be “another statistic”, Eric enrolled at Oakwood University where he began reading every thing he could his hands on, especially the Bible. Understanding the struggle of the streets, he realized what his purpose in life was to become, so he reached back to his fellow drug dealers and helped many of them get their GED’s, go to college and incorporate the strategies and self-improvement exercises he learned in order to assist them in developing their own life plans. In so doing, he provided them with a much needed positive option to the life of crime and illiteracy they then led. While in college Eric started Break The Cycle I Dare You , (BTC) a non profit youth development and special event organization that focuses on developing programs for youth who have made bad choices and most often have had family, social, and academic struggles along with the lack of a father figure in their lives.
Today BTC –has developed and produced many supportive community-based programs and conferences all over world. They provide youth and teachers alike with activities, self-improvement exercises and motivational strategies to help them reach their highest potential in life. Eric now serves as the Chairman of the Organization.
After graduating from Oakwood University, Eric met with his biological father, forged a friendship and a true “father-son” relationship is the result. Eric has since returned to Michigan where he accepted a fellowship to attend Michigan State University to complete his Masters degree in K-12 Administration.
He is currently pursuing his PhD in Education Administration at Michigan State and serves as Senior Pastor of A Place of Change Ministries, Lansing Michigan. He also serves as an Academic Adviser at Michigan State in the Office of Supportive Services where he has developed The Advantage, an undergraduate retention program targeting academically at-risk students of color.
Eric’s representation of the merits of higher education coupled with his knowledge of the pains of thee street inspires young people to break bad habits and reach for new levels of personal and spiritual achievement. Eric has lived a life of challenges and triumph but has found a way to break the cycle.
He has been married to the love of his life De-De for over 18 years. They have two children Jada and Jalen who know what it’s like to have a caring, loving “streetwise” father in the home.
Look – I didn’t want to mess with that bio. It’s straight from Eric’s website which you can get to here.
My task at this point is merely to introduce you, the readers of INFOtainment News, to Mr. Eric Thomas and get to know HIS story and HIS mission. I guarantee you that YOU will be empowered as well to do just a little something extra to help not only somebody in your life, but yourself as well.
Check out more of Eric’s inspirational videos and speeches on his YouTube channel here.