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Franklin uses background to motivate students

By Amanda Leon
On September 19, 2013

Kirk Franklin, a world-renowned gospel artist, spoke at the Students Participating in Transcendent Knowledge seminar Sept. 10 and used his life experiences and success to encourage students at Prairie View.
Hundreds of students eagerly formed a line in front of the Opal Johnson Auditorium in the Memorial Student Center hours before the event began.
During the pre-interview, Franklin expressing how honored he was to speak to the students at the university, said, "Being invited to speak to people that will be the navigators and architects of what the next generation will look like is big. Opportunities like this are huge for me."
When Franklin walked onto the stage to begin his speech, each person in the auditorium instantly hung on each and every one of his words.
Franklin began with his biography, beginning with his childhood environment. He spoke about what it was like to grow up in a rough neighborhood.
Adding to a harsh environment, he grew up in a home where his father was not present, his sister became an addict, and his mother was barely there. He briefly discussed the start of his own family at the tender age of 17.
However, he managed to remain close to the music, which was his way to make it through.
Franklin compared the struggles that people go through in life, to one of his son's track meets.
At the meet, his son Caziah, was running the 4 x 4 relay. During the event, there are four runners who run a 100 meters each and pass the baton to the other leg of the race.
The first leg of the race was set up beautifully, but it seemed as if the first runner got so caught up with his "glory" that he dropped the baton. He related the dropping of the baton to the way some people begin life.
Franklin said, "Everybody comes to the table with a certain amount of scars and it's what we do with scars that truly matters."
He went on to emphasize that everyone has the opportunity to compete, but only if you make the preparations necessary to do so. Sometimes facing fears, rejection, and being outcasted can be the formula for character to be built.
Franklin encouraged students not to miss out on chances to grow and develop their characters. He said that no matter how many times people have fallen on their paths, they could still get up and try again.
"Your mistakes are not accidents, they are divine set ups. There are no coincidences. He is right on time," Franklin said.
To ease the path, he guided students to depend on God, saying, "If you just connect to Him, he will light your steps and guide you."
Even after SPIT Knowledge had ended, he stayed in the foyer until at least 10 p.m. to sign autographs and converse with students.
"It was so awesome to see him here in person. I loved everything he had to say and I really hope we can get him to come back for homecoming this year," said freshman biology major Adrienne Jackson.
An interview will be featured on Prairie View's new television channel, 55.

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