Motivational speaker Arel Moodie dazzled Fowler High School seniors on March 4 with words of wisdom and confidence. Moodie, who has been featured in USA Today and Young Money Magazine for his entrepreneurial feats, is heralded as one of the top Generation Y leaders. His charismatic energy coupled with his "more you give the more you get" attitude had students clamoring to get a word in with him after his uplifting speech.
"I know what some of y'all are thinking; this guy is corny," Moodie joked when he began his lecture with a series of catch phrases. The students laughed as he cracked jokes up and down the aisles, stopping to give them high fives along the way.
Moodie grew up in the projects of Brooklyn with virtually nothing. He was clear that his Cinderella story was neither about his business nor his book, but more about the journey and how he got to where he is now. His high school was one of the top five worst high schools in the United States in terms of crime. Before he'd even gotten to high school, he'd watched someone get shot. He struggled from an early age not only with his surroundings, but also with his racial identity, having been born to a white Jewish woman and a Jamaican/Cuban man.
"I got made fun of and I didn't want to go outside," Moodie said. This was the darkest point in Moodie's life, and he began contemplating suicide rather than facing another day in the projects. Something inside of him stirred at age 16, however, and he made a decision that he wasn't going to stay there forever. He worked hard throughout his high school years and got accepted to college.
The seniors remained enraptured by his story as he told them that all it takes is one opportunity to achieve success. Like many seniors, he dreaded filling out college applications. However, all it takes it one application to get the opportunity of a lifetime.