A dream to serve

Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 2:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 2:47 p.m.

Fortunate, thankful and blessed are only a few words to describe my life.

As I leave my home community to further my education, I will do my best to remain humble and committed to serving others. With loving and supportive parents, a caring family and a cadre of mentors, some of whom became extended family, I have come to understand that I have a responsibility to serve others.

In other words, I am the product of a strong village of individuals who cared, encouraged and challenged me to dream and to make those dreams a reality. Therefore, my time is coming to help others do the same.

I dreamed I would work in the U.S. Capitol, study civil engineering and history, attend the best universities, conduct research in Africa and serve others.

Today, I can say that I served as a congressional page in our nation's capital, just received my undergraduate degrees in civil engineering and history from the University of Florida, declined an admissions offer at Harvard University to attend the University of Michigan for graduate school, traveled to Kano, Nigeria, to conduct original research and have tried to give back to my community by serving others.

Young people, I DARE you to dream when you have faith and work hard. You will be amazed at what happens. Elders, I challenge you to support, teach and guide us through this process as we try to dream and make those dreams a reality.

During the 1860 presidential election, Abraham Lincoln wrote to a friend, “I know there is a God, and that He hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming, and I know that his hand is in it. If He has a place and work for me — and I think He has — I believe I am ready.”

I hope that we all can reflect on words such as these and try to provide a strong support system — or village — like the one I have to ensure that every child in this wonderful community can achieve their own opportunities.

Let us make sure that every child can dream and work hard to make their dreams a reality.

Xavier Monroe is a young civic leader and Educational Leadership & Policy graduate student at the University of Michigan. He currently serves on the Alachua County Library District Board of Trustees and the Putnam-Alachua-Levy Library Cooperative Governing Boar. He also is a former president of the Alachua County NAACP Youth Council. He recently completed his undergraduate studies in civil engineering and history with minors in education and African studies at UF.

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