Urban Report

Personal Testimony

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: UBR

Program Code: UBR000251A

00:01 What does it look like
00:02 to be an active leader of your community?
00:04 Stay tuned to meet someone
00:05 who can tell you just how it's done.
00:07 My name is Jason Bradley,
00:09 and you are watching Urban Report.
00:35 Hello, and welcome to Urban Report.
00:37 My guest today is Kenny Anderson.
00:39 He is the host of the television show called
00:42 "Impact with Kenny Anderson".
00:44 He is a nationally certified counselor,
00:46 has a bachelor's degree in psychology,
00:48 and the Lord has blessed him with many more accomplishments.
00:52 Welcome to Urban Report, Brother Kenny.
00:53 It's great to be here, Jason. It's good to see of you, man.
00:56 Good to have you. Good to have you.
00:58 Now, we had been talking prior to this program
01:01 when we found out there's...
01:02 We have so many connections. Yeah.
01:05 Like six degrees of separation
01:06 has become three degrees easily.
01:08 That's right. That's right.
01:11 I took a look at your bio and I was blown away.
01:16 I'm wondering where do you find the time
01:18 to get all of these things done.
01:21 But before we go into all of your many accomplishments,
01:24 and what you're doing now,
01:25 I'd like to give our viewers
01:27 a little bit of background on you,
01:29 where are you from?
01:31 From New York City.
01:32 I grew up on the Lower East Side
01:33 of Manhattan in gaudy houses.
01:36 It's funny because
01:37 when you grow up in the projects,
01:38 you don't necessarily know that,
01:40 because home is home.
01:42 And I grew up in a home with two parents
01:43 who loved us, cared for us, worked every day,
01:45 I had three sisters,
01:47 lived in a vibrant community that was really diverse.
01:50 And growing up on Lower East Side of Manhattan
01:53 was just an amazing experience,
01:55 saw lots of things, did lots of things,
01:58 and experience lots of things, that's where my origin began.
02:02 Nice, nice.
02:03 Now what college did you attend?
02:05 I went to a college in Huntsville, Alabama
02:08 that some people might know about,
02:09 it's called Oakwood College then, university today.
02:12 Okay.
02:14 Oakwood is just an amazing institution.
02:16 And I chose Oakwood
02:17 because I had two friends
02:19 that went to Bethel SDA Church in Brooklyn, New York.
02:22 They were people that some people
02:24 might know even today.
02:26 Pastor John Nixon was a little older than me,
02:29 but he was one of those people
02:31 that came back from time to time,
02:32 talking about Oakwood, and Dr. Keith Autise,
02:35 who now lives in Chicago.
02:37 Okay.
02:38 And those guys were two guys I looked up to.
02:40 I felt that if Oakwood was good enough for them
02:43 and they were pretty cool guys,
02:44 it was probably good enough for me.
02:46 And even though it was a thousand miles
02:47 away from home,
02:49 it was a daunting task to be able to move down there,
02:52 and transition in a way
02:53 that would be positive and empowering,
02:56 but it was everything
02:57 that I ever imagined it could be.
02:59 And my experience at Oakwood was second to none.
03:02 Every success that I have today,
03:04 I can attribute to the fact that Oakwood gave me
03:07 a tremendous opportunity to learn leadership,
03:11 to achieve academically,
03:13 to build a network of individuals
03:14 that I have even today that I can benefit from
03:18 in so many ways, through friendship,
03:20 advice, support, and other kinds of things.
03:22 Yes, now taking it back a little bit,
03:25 you said that you grew up in the projects,
03:27 you know, there's a lot of things
03:29 that go on in the projects,
03:30 how were you able to overcome the adversity
03:33 that you probably faced in that environment?
03:36 Well, it's the cliché now I'd say probably.
03:38 It's the one that everybody would expect perhaps,
03:41 but it was God.
03:42 I tell people that, you know,
03:44 my family was really a family that prayed together.
03:46 And families that prayed together stayed together.
03:48 We had morning and evening worship
03:50 that was an important part of our experience.
03:52 We went to church together, in fact,
03:55 I remember probably being 14, 15
03:58 before I was able to sit some place else in church.
04:01 I mean, we were literally a family
04:03 that sat in church together,
04:05 went to church on a regular basis,
04:06 but church was not just
04:08 a casual passive experience for us.
04:10 My parents demonstrated as the role models
04:13 in my home what love was.
04:16 My parents loved each other for 43 years
04:18 before my dad passed.
04:20 So they showed us a foundation of love.
04:22 They did not accept my sisters and I fussing with each other,
04:27 or cutting up in public environments,
04:30 I mean, there was always
04:31 a sense of boundaries and discipline.
04:33 So the Word of God was the foundation in our home
04:35 and that was extremely important for me.
04:37 And even in times when I may have strayed throughout life,
04:40 it was always a compass,
04:41 it was always a point of emphasis
04:43 that I can always go back to and be able to claim my roots.
04:47 Nice, so you had that example and, you know, the Bible says,
04:50 "Train up a child the way he should go
04:52 and when he grows old, he won't depart from it."
04:54 I think that's Proverbs 5:22, I believe.
04:57 That's close. I believe that's the one.
05:01 If it's not, maybe our viewers will let me out.
05:05 But, I mean, that's so true, you know,
05:07 you instill those values in the kids
05:09 while they're young, and when they grow old,
05:11 they don't, they won't depart from it.
05:13 That's right.
05:14 So it's amazing to see
05:16 what the Lord has led you through
05:18 and where you are today.
05:20 What did you major in college?
05:22 Majored in psychology. Okay.
05:24 Interestingly backstory,
05:26 I went to Oakwood as the theology major.
05:29 I actually claimed theology as a major,
05:31 got my card in the mail saying
05:33 that you're a member of the religion and theology form,
05:35 and welcome to Oakwood.
05:37 When you see my acceptance letter,
05:39 it says that I'm going to be
05:40 majoring in religion and theology,
05:44 one of those two, I knew I was going to be,
05:45 I taught I want to be a pastor.
05:47 But coming to Oakwood,
05:49 I realized that I also was interested in medicine,
05:51 and after taking bio and math courses,
05:54 I didn't do very well
05:55 but I was still thinking maybe this is what's going to happen.
05:58 But in my sophomore year,
06:00 we won the quarter system at that time,
06:02 I took psychology from Dr. Keith Wood out of Atlanta,
06:06 and Dr. Wood was just a phenomenal instructor,
06:10 I say to people all the time
06:12 that he inspired me to become a psychology major.
06:16 And once I declared psychology as a major,
06:18 the rest was history.
06:19 I kept moving forward,
06:21 I kept believing that this was something
06:22 I wanted to do,
06:24 and I began understanding
06:25 and seeing my vision and my purpose for life,
06:28 which really involved helping others become better.
06:32 Wow.
06:34 Now you were a psychology major,
06:37 but didn't you transition into teaching psychology as well,
06:40 and how did that take place?
06:41 I did, coming out of Oakwood after about a year or so,
06:45 I got my first full time job in the field at a rehab center,
06:49 worked in that area for about 10 years,
06:51 then went to another facility and did one-on-one counseling,
06:55 try to retreat hospital,
06:56 I was a counseling center director,
06:59 I worked at University of Alabama in Huntsville
07:01 for a period of time
07:02 as a student development counselor,
07:04 and it was important for me to be able to hone my craft,
07:06 but I started teaching part time as well.
07:09 And during that time,
07:10 I transitioned from practicing psychology to teaching,
07:13 which gave me a chance to do
07:14 the kinds of things in the classroom
07:17 that I had done in the field.
07:18 So being able to make practical applications
07:21 was a very important part of that,
07:22 and I absolutely love teaching.
07:24 I thought I would retire from that job one day,
07:27 but I've taught at many different institutions
07:29 in Huntsville, including Oakwood,
07:32 which gave me my first chance to teach,
07:34 and, in fact, I still teach
07:36 when I get a chance to do that,
07:38 taught a class recently for one semester
07:41 and look forward to doing that again in the future.
07:44 Nice, you need to write a book on time management
07:47 'cause you've done, I mean, you have done
07:49 so many different things,
07:52 I don't know where you'd find the time to do all of these.
07:55 Now, been a psychology major, I often wonder
07:58 if, like, do you size people up,
08:00 kind of, like, is it an automatic thing,
08:02 like, you just kind of size people up
08:05 when you meet them or when you see them?
08:07 It's not, because I tell people
08:09 that if I was doing that I have to give them a bill.
08:12 But what does happen is I say to people,
08:15 I imagine it's a lot like a mechanic.
08:18 If you're mechanic,
08:19 and you're riding in somebody's car,
08:20 and somehow that car is not running right,
08:22 you're going to intuitively sense that,
08:24 because that's what you do every day.
08:26 Yes.
08:27 As a doctor, if you see somebody
08:28 whose health is not exactly what it should be,
08:31 you're probably going to intuitively
08:33 connect to that experience.
08:35 So I think what happens with me is
08:37 I pick up on some things that people would,
08:39 maybe not normally pick up on
08:41 because that's what I've been trained to do.
08:43 I've been trained to listen with my mind
08:45 and listen with my heart in ways
08:47 that other people have not.
08:49 And so I'm not sizing people up,
08:50 and drawing conclusions,
08:52 because you've got to go through a process
08:53 in order to get there.
08:55 But I think I'm probably in touch
08:57 with some things that,
08:58 because of my training,
09:00 more so than other people might be.
09:02 Yeah, see, I've always wondered that,
09:03 because when I go to a restaurant,
09:05 I used to manage a restaurant, and when I go out to eat,
09:09 I'm noticing, like, all kinds of things,
09:11 greet times, silent service,
09:15 you know, all, the list goes on.
09:16 I can't help but to notice these things.
09:18 I was wondering about psychology and psychologists
09:22 and how that works out.
09:23 I give people a break. I don't really put them on.
09:25 I'm just kind of... Yes, yes.
09:26 So hopefully you won't send me an invoice after this.
09:29 You're good.
09:31 So what's going on with you currently?
09:35 You're dealing with multicultural affairs?
09:38 Yes, yes, absolutely.
09:40 So I taught for period of time,
09:42 and then this was after the psychology career,
09:44 and about five years ago,
09:46 I got a call from the mayor's office
09:47 in the city of Huntsville to apply for a job
09:51 as multicultural affairs officer.
09:53 It's an amazing experience, an amazing opportunity
09:56 that was created some years ago by the current mayor
10:00 who felt that it was important to acknowledge
10:02 the diversity of the community,
10:05 who felt it was important to recognize
10:06 that with all of the different academic institutions,
10:09 all of the different Fortune 500 companies,
10:11 and all the other exciting things
10:13 that are happening in Huntsville.
10:14 You have lots of different kinds of people there.
10:17 So how do we, from a municipal government perspective,
10:19 make a commitment to affirming that diversity
10:22 by having an open door policy where anybody
10:24 who has an issue of concern can be heard,
10:27 where everyone can feel like they have a seat at the table
10:30 where they're going to be at least listened to,
10:32 and we can work together to build bridges
10:34 across those differences.
10:36 And that's essentially the work that I'm engaged in.
10:38 So wherever people are, that's where I am.
10:40 And so how do you bridge that gap, like?
10:44 The first gap for me is bridge to my humanity.
10:47 I know that the cross... Okay.
10:48 At the foot of the cross is level ground.
10:51 Christ died for me, just like He died for everyone else.
10:54 I don't see people in terms of their differences per se.
10:57 I acknowledge their differences,
10:59 but I don't make differences deficiencies.
11:02 And I think that's a key in terms of dealing
11:04 with the kinds of work that I do.
11:06 A lot of times when people see somebody
11:07 who's different, their interpretation of that
11:10 is because they're different, they're broken, they're odd,
11:13 they're weird, they're unusual, they're unacceptable,
11:16 they're the other, and because of that,
11:19 there's something that's unique to them
11:21 that won't allow me to connect to them.
11:23 Well, my job involves finding out
11:25 what those differences are and finding out
11:27 how we can build common ground around those differences.
11:30 And that's really exciting to me,
11:31 because there's humanity in every single person.
11:35 If I have an accident and I have O positive blood,
11:38 I'm not concerned about a person's gender,
11:40 I'm not concerned about,
11:41 you know, what school they graduated from,
11:43 what part of the country they come from,
11:44 I want O positive healthy blood from a donor,
11:48 and it doesn't matter who they are.
11:49 So there's level ground in this abilities
11:52 that we don't often pursue consistently
11:55 to have those common ground experiences.
11:59 You come across as very passion...
12:02 Being very passionate about the community,
12:05 and what led to that passion,
12:07 and how did your faith come into play with all that?
12:10 I think the most important thing is I've been helped,
12:12 you know, everybody has had a helping hand in life.
12:15 I think about the sacrifices
12:17 that my parents made to send me
12:18 to church school very early on in the process.
12:22 We didn't have a lot of money to do that,
12:24 but they did it
12:25 because they felt that this would be an important part
12:28 of instilling in me a sense of purpose,
12:30 and a sense of value in others.
12:32 The sacrifice that they made to send me
12:34 to Oakwood was a huge sacrifice,
12:36 but it paid tremendous dividends,
12:38 because I chose a major
12:40 through which I was able to help people,
12:42 and then I was able to do that consistently.
12:45 I think also being in the community
12:47 and moving outside the walls of the church,
12:49 you know, you go to church to be inspired,
12:51 you go to church to connect with other people,
12:53 you go to church to worship the Creator,
12:56 to experience God fully.
12:59 Those are beautiful experiences.
13:01 But beyond that, that should be a transformational experience.
13:06 You should be so fired up,
13:07 not about the choir singing good,
13:09 or the minister preaching well,
13:11 or having a great Sabbath school conversation.
13:13 You should be fired up because of those things,
13:15 but then move well beyond that to say,
13:17 "Now what am I going to do in my community?"
13:19 You know, who is out there
13:21 that I can touch to make a difference in their life.
13:24 And you've got to be able to do those things
13:26 if your faith is going to be real.
13:29 If your spirituality is going to be dynamic,
13:31 and energizing, and engaging,
13:33 and so it's important for that to happen for me,
13:36 because it matters, it makes a difference.
13:39 I can't pass another person in the street
13:41 and feel, like, as if,
13:42 "That's not my issue, that's not my concern."
13:45 We have far too many Good Samaritan experiences
13:48 where with the other two people that passed.
13:51 The opportunity to help
13:53 as opposed to the Good Samaritan.
13:54 And so those lessons in life, reading about those things,
13:58 trying to understand those things,
14:00 processing those thing,
14:01 having been down and out in my own life,
14:04 and getting a helping hand,
14:07 helps me connect with people in a really, really genuine way
14:09 that causes me to be passionate
14:11 about being connected to my community.
14:14 Going to church is great, I love it.
14:16 I love being a part of the faith and the fellowship.
14:19 But once that happens, and once that ends,
14:22 I should be so fired up about touching somebody else's life
14:27 that I'm actually seeking opportunities
14:29 in my community to do that.
14:30 That is awesome, I mean, it's like the Bible says,
14:33 "Faith without works is dead."
14:34 That's right.
14:36 You know, if you're hearing these things
14:37 but you're not doing them...
14:38 That's right. That's right.
14:40 You are not doing
14:41 what you are supposed to be doing.
14:43 Absolutely.
14:44 Now, you also mentor people too, correct?
14:45 I do.
14:47 I am a member of a mentoring organization
14:50 called the 100 Black Men of Greater Huntsville.
14:52 I'm a member of the Rotary Club,
14:54 which is international mentoring organization.
14:58 I've got to mentor one of the high schools,
15:00 I've had them for couple of years now,
15:01 we start mentoring when they're juniors,
15:04 and we followed them through when they're seniors,
15:06 and just recently,
15:08 I also started my own mentoring initiative
15:10 which is called Rising Stars Mentoring Group.
15:13 And I just, kind of, solicited from the community anybody,
15:17 who wanted to, kind of, benefit from some of the things
15:20 that I've been able to benefit from in life,
15:22 and I had eight people step up and say,
15:24 teach us, show us, help us,
15:27 and so I'm working with them on a regular basis
15:29 to, kind of, help identify their strengths,
15:32 identify their weaknesses,
15:34 and how we can perhaps strengthen those things,
15:37 identify how they can create a network
15:39 so that they can become more successful.
15:41 And I told them that everything that I experience,
15:43 every person that I know, I'll make available to them,
15:46 if I think that that relationship
15:48 will be a beneficial thing to them,
15:50 and it's been a great experience so far.
15:52 So mentoring is something I'm also passionate about,
15:54 because somebody helped me get to where I am.
15:57 And I'm not always going to be here,
15:59 my legacy should be that,
16:01 my living was not in vain
16:04 that my living made a difference
16:06 in somebody's life.
16:07 And that because I live,
16:08 people now have a reason to live.
16:12 Not because I'm the person, it's because I'm here,
16:15 I've been blessed by so much,
16:17 God has been such a powerful part of my life.
16:19 His grace and mercy has continuously flowed
16:22 through my own ups and downs.
16:25 This is something I should be sharing
16:26 with other people.
16:27 Wow.
16:29 So you're giving back, you're constantly giving back,
16:32 which is so important, you know, there's a...
16:34 Unfortunately, there's a lot of people
16:35 that are, kind of, like,
16:37 there's an expression called crabs in a barrel, you know,
16:40 where they're just constantly trying to tear people down
16:43 and bring them down
16:44 when they see someone rising and being successful.
16:48 But you are pouring back into the community,
16:51 you're mentoring people.
16:53 You sit on several boards,
16:57 what else do you have going on?
17:00 Well, I have recently gotten into philanthropy.
17:03 I've established several scholarships locally,
17:06 because I believe in education
17:07 as much as I believe in anything else.
17:09 And so several years ago,
17:12 I was celebrating an anniversary
17:14 with my radio show, and I said,
17:16 "I wanted to do something more than just have a social event."
17:19 I wanted to do something
17:21 that's going to have a lasting impact.
17:22 And so the school I was working at the time,
17:24 Calhoun Community College,
17:25 I decided to do an endowed scholarship,
17:27 which was a minimum of $25,000.
17:30 So we did some fundraising, we raised that,
17:32 we've had three students go to school
17:33 in that scholarship as of now,
17:35 and we want many more to go.
17:37 So we keep adding to that scholarship
17:39 and growing that scholarship.
17:41 I look back in my alma mater Oakwood,
17:44 I decided to do two scholarships there,
17:46 a 25 scholarship,
17:47 which is a donation of $25 a month to just say,
17:51 cover books, to help students clear,
17:54 and we're raising money right now
17:55 to actually launch that scholarship
17:57 sometime in the very near future.
17:59 And then a third scholarship,
18:01 the 212-community service scholarship
18:03 is another endowed scholarship
18:05 for which we're raising $25,000,
18:07 we're right about halfway...
18:09 The halfway mark right now. Okay.
18:11 We're excited about that,
18:12 we hope to close that process by the end of this year.
18:14 Okay.
18:15 And start sending students to school next March,
18:19 when they can apply for the first time to Oakwood,
18:22 it will go to a psychology student
18:24 who is engaged in community service,
18:26 because the message for me is
18:28 we don't want to just give you a handout,
18:30 we want you to now
18:31 extend your hand to help someone else,
18:33 so help somebody up
18:35 as you're moving up that ladder as well.
18:38 Give a hand up not just a hand out.
18:41 Help people as much as you can.
18:42 Be conscientious and aware
18:44 about how your community matters,
18:47 and because at Oakwood we say,
18:48 "We enter to learn and we depart to serve."
18:51 What a powerful message to say that
18:52 we want to empower young people while they're in school now,
18:56 and making a difference in other people's lives.
18:58 So we're excited about the philanthropy
19:00 that's going on in that process.
19:02 Our radio show is still moving forward
19:04 on Oakwood university station, Second Chance, 27.5 plus years,
19:10 we're just excited about
19:12 where that process is going
19:13 and God is just making tremendous opportunities for us
19:19 to make an impact in people's lives,
19:21 and I'm so blessed by that.
19:22 Amen. Tell us about Second Chance.
19:25 What is that program about?
19:28 We started to show as I said 27.5 plus years now, ago,
19:34 and our purpose was one thing,
19:36 we wanted to focus on the fact
19:38 that God is a God of mercy, love and second chances.
19:42 So that figurative second chance was, like,
19:45 you fall down, you get back up,
19:47 you know, you forgive 70 times 7,
19:49 you assist people
19:51 wherever they have challenges in life,
19:53 because as you have been assisted,
19:57 you should be able to be willing
19:58 to be assisting someone else, helping someone else.
20:03 And so the program began with just that notion,
20:07 that we're gonna try to help people
20:08 see beyond the adversity,
20:10 and to try to help people see beyond the pain,
20:12 the failure, the difficulties in life,
20:15 and that's what Second Chance is all about.
20:16 So thematically, we focus on
20:19 providing people with information about
20:21 what's going on in the community,
20:23 and because we're on the Internet now,
20:24 we talk to people around the region,
20:26 around the nation,
20:27 and around the world on a wide variety of topics.
20:30 Every Sunday afternoon from 2:00 to 4:00,
20:32 we're live from Oakland University station.
20:35 We have people coming in and out of the station
20:37 all the time, sharing information about
20:39 how God has made an impact in their life,
20:41 or how their agency is making a difference
20:43 in people's lives today.
20:45 How an event is going to, perhaps,
20:47 raise money to be able
20:48 to help people in the community.
20:50 So the one thing throughout everything
20:52 is we want to help people, help people.
20:54 And we want to support people who are helping people,
20:56 and that everybody can find a way
20:59 to be helpful in that process,
21:00 to make a difference in somebody else's life.
21:03 Now, what stories do you have for us,
21:05 where you've seen lives touched,
21:08 where you've seen lives transformed
21:09 as a result of these give back initiatives?
21:13 Yeah, you know, it is an amazing thing
21:16 for someone to come to you and say,
21:18 "Because of something that you did,
21:20 it made a difference in my life."
21:21 I'll tell you a scholarship story.
21:23 A young lady...
21:25 We don't know who the scholarship recipient
21:26 is at the beginning of the school year,
21:28 but they have acknowledgement
21:31 luncheon at the end of the year,
21:33 where you get a chance, as a donor to meet the person
21:35 that benefited from the scholarship.
21:38 I met a young lady,
21:39 she was single mother of two kids,
21:41 attending school, working on a psychology degree.
21:45 I didn't know any of this before I met her.
21:48 And she came to me,
21:49 and was in tears sharing with me
21:52 about the impact that
21:53 that scholarship had made on her life,
21:55 because she was getting a chance to go to school
21:59 to improve the quality of her life, which in turn,
22:02 would improve the quality of life for her children.
22:05 She hugged me, she thanked me, and I told her,
22:09 you know, "I'm glad that this has helped you."
22:12 But what I walked away
22:13 from that experience thinking was that,
22:15 "I've got to work even harder.
22:17 I've got to do more."
22:19 And part of my doing more
22:20 is not just me doing more physically,
22:22 but inspiring others to do something.
22:24 Because if more people would do something,
22:26 everybody could benefit more from that process.
22:29 And so I walked out of that experience
22:32 really, really happy for her,
22:33 but saying there's still so much work to be done,
22:36 that we can't sit back
22:37 and rest on our laurels of success.
22:39 We can't say because something has happened positively today,
22:43 last month, or year before,
22:45 that we've done everything that we can.
22:47 We've got to consistently looking
22:49 for what can we do more of in order
22:52 so that more people can benefit from that process.
22:55 Yes, now where have you seen...
22:57 Okay, so you've poured into other people's lives,
23:00 tell me a story about
23:02 where they have gone
23:04 and poured into somebody else's life,
23:06 where you've seen that reciprocated?
23:08 I've seen it time and time again,
23:10 especially from the academic perspective,
23:12 because I have students that come back
23:13 from time to time and say,
23:15 and this is the best tribute that a student can give you.
23:18 I became a psychology major, or a social worker,
23:23 or a helping professional, because of something
23:25 I experienced in your classroom.
23:27 It was the service learning opportunity
23:29 that you gave us to be able to go out
23:31 into the community to work on a project.
23:33 And now in my agency,
23:35 I am doing the same type of thing.
23:37 I mean, the recruiting interns said that
23:39 they can come work for us as well.
23:41 We're launching community projects
23:44 so that we can have something for people
23:46 to do in the community
23:48 to make the community a better place.
23:50 We're launching a fundraiser,
23:52 and we want your guidance and direction
23:53 on how we might affectively go about doing that,
23:56 that happens all the time.
23:57 It's just a consistent flow
23:59 of people coming in and out of my office,
24:01 sending me emails, calling me on the phone,
24:04 either thanking me for that process
24:06 and that experience,
24:07 thanking me for inspiring in them a sense
24:10 of how it's important
24:11 and why it's important
24:13 for people to be engaged in community projects.
24:15 And so, one of the things that excites me every day
24:19 is that every time I have a new student,
24:21 a new opportunity presents itself for them
24:23 to take something away.
24:25 And in that exit interview,
24:26 a lot of them say that one of the things
24:28 that I'm going to take away from this experience
24:30 is that when I get that job,
24:31 when I'm out there doing something,
24:33 when I earn enough money, I'm going to give back,
24:35 I'm going to be a supporter of United Way
24:37 or whatever the agency might be.
24:39 It's a great thing to be able to be in an environment
24:41 where you're constantly creating that kind of energy.
24:43 Yes, yes.
24:46 You do speeches too, right? I do.
24:48 You give speeches.
24:49 How do people get in touch with you
24:51 if they want you to come, speak at their event?
24:54 Yeah, so people can call me at 256-883-3993,
24:59 and I'd be happy to talk to them.
25:01 They can also send me an email at my name
25:03 Kenny Anderson75@gmail.com.
25:06 I speak it all kinds of things,
25:08 family reunions, commencement exercises,
25:11 I come and do motivational speeches
25:14 for young people, you know, one of the...
25:16 I'll tell you real quickly one of the most challenging
25:19 groups of people to talk to are young people.
25:21 I believe it. Yeah.
25:22 I was asked to come talk to a group of young people
25:24 one Super Bowl weekend,
25:26 which is like the worst thing you can probably do.
25:27 Super Bowl weekend.
25:28 It was the day of the game. Wow.
25:30 And I walked into this huge auditorium
25:33 where there are supposed to be a bunch of kids there,
25:34 and I'm like, "How am I gonna keep their attention
25:36 for the next hour and a half."
25:38 And so what I did was,
25:39 I just put my thinking cap on quick,
25:40 I went back and changed my presentation.
25:43 I put the name of the teams that were playing,
25:45 and I came in
25:47 and asked the DJ to bring me in.
25:49 So the DJ started playing some music,
25:50 and I came and high-five the bunch of kids,
25:52 they got excited.
25:54 And then I started naming the teams,
25:55 and who's on this, who's was on that side?
25:57 And from that point,
25:58 I just had them totally engaged in the process.
26:00 And so thinking on the fly is an important thing to do
26:04 when you're talking about working with people,
26:06 that's the kind of high energy presentations we like to do.
26:09 We like to bring engagement to the process,
26:11 create interactivity,
26:13 and inspire people to do something more
26:16 than what they're doing at that moment.
26:17 And how did you get involved in public speaking?
26:20 That's a huge backstory too, I'll tell you the short story.
26:22 I did not take public speech in college
26:23 because I was too afraid to speak in public.
26:25 Okay, and a lot of people are. A lot of people are.
26:28 They fear it more than death, literally.
26:31 And public speaking people get nervous, they sweat,
26:34 they faint, they do all kinds of things.
26:36 And so, I had a job to work as a mental health counselor,
26:39 where I had to go into the community
26:41 and promote our services.
26:42 And over the course of three years,
26:44 my development director had said, "You know, Kenny,
26:47 you've gotten pretty good at this.
26:49 You should think about doing this more."
26:50 And her inspiration encouraged me.
26:53 And that's why I said it's so important
26:54 for you to have champions in your life.
26:56 It's important for advocates to help
26:58 you know what you're doing well and help you do better with
27:01 what you may not be doing well.
27:02 And because of Debbie Davis' support
27:04 and her encouragement,
27:06 I decided to launch a business
27:08 and began doing public speaking, and it's...
27:11 The rest is history.
27:12 It's been 23 years now since that happened.
27:14 Wow!
27:15 What advice would you have for somebody
27:17 that wants to get active
27:19 and involved in their community
27:20 in the short time that we have left.
27:23 Just do it.
27:24 There are so many ways that you can get involved.
27:26 I mentioned United Way earlier,
27:28 United Ways across the nation and around the world.
27:30 If you want to just simply find out
27:32 what's happening in your community,
27:34 these places have volunteer centers,
27:36 you can go out to schools,
27:37 you can go out to the faith community,
27:39 lots of churches are looking for volunteers,
27:42 you have local organizations, community based organizations,
27:45 reach out to them,
27:47 do some googling in a proactive positive way,
27:49 get that information.
27:51 Yes, well, thank you so much
27:52 for coming on and sharing with us.
27:54 And thank you for joining us.
27:55 Well, we've reached the end of another program.
27:58 Join us next time, and remember,
27:59 it just wouldn't be the same without you.


Revised 2018-04-26