McCray speaks

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 2, 2010

Finch-Henry Job Corps Center Community/Business Liaison Roger Givens (left) and Center Director Cordella Smith (right) welcomed (right from Givens) Community Relations Committee (CRC) members Rufus Manley and John Howell, speaker Samuel McCray, and CRC President Percy Bruce.

F-HJCC Director Cordella Smith presented Congressional Aide Samuel McCray with a plaque recognizing his “inspiring vision” given students.

McCray congratulates F-HJCC Student Government Association officer Mario Bennett, recipient of multiple awards for leadership.

F-HJCC students who received multiple awards for leadership included Rachel Kline of Palatine, Illinois and Jason Crutcher of Southaven.

SGA officer Lillian Herring was another recipient of several leadership awards at the March 31 banquet. CRC member Rufus Manley is behind Herring.

By John Howell

Congressional administrative assistant Samuel McCray told Finch-Henry Job Corps Center students last week that, “This is probably the best time I’ve ever seen in my life for people are prepared.”

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McCray spoke March 31 at the center’s Leadership Banquet which honored several dozen students for their roles in campus and academic life and citizenship. McCray is case manager and field representative for Congressman Bennie Thompson. He also serves on the center’s Community Relations Council.

McCray acknowledged difficulties that the students face in today’s world — high unemployment, uncertainties about health insurance reform, climate change — “but out of all of that, there’s opportunities for those who are prepared,” he said.

“For those who are willing to challenge themselves, they’re the ones who are going to create the jobs, they’re the ones who are going to develop the technology, they’re the ones who are going to provide affordable housing, they’re the ones who are going to run the financial institutions, so you sitting right here in this room are going to be a part of that group,” McCray continued.

McCray was given an emotional introduction by F-HJCC Director Cordella Smith who praised McCray for having overcome the poverty in his background to gain a position that allows him to help young people who find themselves similarly situated.

“You would not be sitting where you are today,” Smith told the student leadership members who had gathered in the center cafeteria for the banquet. “It is people like him who have trotted the roads, who have stayed up all night long in hopes that you get a better education,” she continued.

“Being prepared is absolutely critical,” McCray said, acknowledging that the students had already “overcome a lot of challenges.”

“No matter where you start, it’s not that important. It’s really where you end up and how you get there,” McCray continued.

“I’m a person of faith and I’m absolutely convinced that God has given us all talents. He give us the ability to do, but what He won’t do is develop those talents for you,” the Congressional assistant continued. “He’ll put people in your way like Mr. (F-HJCC Community/Business liaison Roger) Givens, like Mrs. Smith, like the staff here to help you develop those skills … to make your life better and to make the community better,” he said.