Who doesn’t love to hear a great story of someone’s dream coming true? I was able to witness this first hand on Saturday, as it happened for 22 teens and their parents. #payitforward

Coca-Cola’s Pay it Forward Academy partnered with Steve Harvey and chose 22 teens out of 40,000+ applicants, who were granted a $5,000 education scholarship and an all expense paid trip to Atlanta for the weekend. This weekend activities (July 23- 26) included topics about:

  • The importance of a personal brand
  • How to prepare for higher education
  • Financial literacy

Steve Harvey Surprise Visit

During their weekend trip, they were surprised with a visit from Steve Harvey, celebrity ambassador for the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program, at the Whole World Improv Theatre. He was initially supposed to work on improv with them, but he changed the plans and gave them (& me) a life changing talk about DREAMS that will change their lives if they let it.

After his intimate talk with the teens, I was BLESSED with an interview with him.  To be completely honest with you, Steve Harvey is like my “Male Oprah”. I listen to him on the radio, love his talk show, have his book and I really love his “LIFE” advice. He’s a man that has “LIVED” through some interesting experiences and is now on the other side which allows him to share his wisdom and gifts.

Check out my video interview with Steve where he covers the following topics:

Who is his mentor?
What books he is reading?
What is the #1 rule of Manhood?
Why is exposure life changing?
What does service mean to him?
Why education is not the most important thing?
What you shouldn’t KEEP IT REAL!

More Than a Selfie with Steve

I’ve been in his presence 3 previous times, but I was never able to get close enough to say hello or take a selfie. The last time I saw him was the closest, as I attended his Act Like A Success Conference in March as media. I just knew I was going to see Steve in the lobby or elevator. It didn’t happen.

Well, Friday I got an email out of the blue from Meredith Mobley (PRecise Communications), “Do you want to interview Steve Harvey?” I started to breathe hard and I closed my computer, just to open it again and make sure I read it correctly.

I understand that everything happens for a reason and I am so glad that out of the previous times where I could have just ran into him, this time I was actually able to sit down with “My Mentor in my head!”. I was able to ask him questions, and really make eye contact with him. I had at least 25 great minutes with a man whose words blessed me dearly. That’s more important than any quick selfie, although I did get a picture!


What Did I Ask Steve Harvey?

I knew this could possibly be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I wanted to make my question count. I honestly say possibly, because it possibly won’t be. I have a bigger Dream to work with Steve Harvey and his Dreamers Academy in a partnership with The Knighten Project. (Speak that, Believe that, Receive that!)

  1. Steve, with your career, you have become everyone’s mentor and thousands look up to you and take your advice. With all of your success, who mentors you? Who helps you?
  2. What book are you reading now?  

If you watch the video, he goes into why TD Jakes is the only person he considers a mentor to him. In addition to currently reading Bishop Jakes book Instinct, he just finished reading for the 7th time The Magic of Thinking Big. He shares (in the video) why this book is a game changer for anyone that reads it and how his life has changed. I am also currently reading it, but I am only half way through. To learn that Mr. Harvey has read this book 7 times motivates me even more to finish and master thinking big!

Education is NOT the most important thing?

I think Steve surprised everyone in the audience when he said, “Education is not the most important thing!” It was a hush in the room. He went on to explain that your DREAM & Imagination are actually more important. Whatever your dream is, will you push into the education you need to make that a reality.

He stressed the importance of having a vision board and writing down your goals. I loved that, because I have 2 vision boards and I am about to create another one specifically for The Knighten Project. So many great things have happened on my board, that I love to hear when people tell me they’ve created one too.

Steve stressed how important it is to partner your passion with your gift and watch the magic happen. Also, although you may know your gift, dream or what you want to do in life – it doesn’t always happen automatically. There will be a journey it takes to make your dream a reality, so what you must do is NOT GIVE UP but KEEP IT MOVING!

Coca-Cola Pays it Forward

This is the 4th year the Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program has provided avenues to help youth pursue their aspirations of higher education through once-in-a-lifetime mentorship opportunities. Follow the hashtag #CokePayItForward on social media.

The Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Scholarship program is open to students who are full-time at a 4 year accredited college or university.  Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and have an unmet need as verified by their attending college or university financial aid office.  Applicants must have a permanent address in one of the seven regions identified in the eligibility criteria of the application.  Students must complete an essay answering the question:  How will obtaining a scholarship help you to pay it forward in your community, on your campus, or in your family.

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