My Biggest Speech Yet

My Biggest Speech Yet!
I’ve been going since I was a kid.  30 years to be exact.
I was four years old when I first started attending because I was FORCED to.  There were no ifs, ands, or buts about it.  But, as time went on, I found that I truly looked forward to attending and would try to re-arrange my schedule in any way to attend.
I’m talking about the Student Acheivement (formerly known as Black Achievers) Program at Jefferson Community College (now JCTC).  You may question why I’ve attended this event for the most part of 30 years.  No, it hasn’t taken me 30 years to complete a degree.  I’ve been a part of the program for that long because my father, the late Thomas Stephen Yeager, created the program and the Black Affairs Advisory Council at JCC.
I can tell you, though, its a very uplifting ceremony and you hear stories of people that have overcome odds to better themselves and further their education.  The past several years there have been guest speakers and I have taken photos for OnyxLouisville.  But, to my surprise, this year I was asked to play a larger role.  I – Michelle Yeager – am going to be the guest speaker.
At first I was on cloud nine to be asked, but then all of the emotions hit me. Here’s a program founded by my father, that I’ve attended numerous times in the audience, that my mother (and then myself) passed out the T. Stephen Yeager Scholarship at and now they are asking me to be the featured speaker at the 30th Year of the event.  Whoa!!
I think for days before starting to write my speech.  I want to make it just right.  I don’t really know what to say.  Do I write about my personal accomplishments and success?  Do I talk about the great influence my parents were to me and the community?  Do I tell a bunch of knock knock jokes and hope they get it?
I finally figured out which direction to go based on a Facebook message from someone I’ve never met….  I can’t share that email with you right now because it’s the basis of my speech.  But, you’re more than welcome to come and listen to it tonight at 7:00pm at the Student Achievement Program in the new Health Science Building at JCTC.  Although I’ve given plenty of speeches, this one feels like the most important one yet – how do you say THANK YOU to people that mean so much to you?!
March 2011

Best Gift Ever

The Best Gifts Ever

Dec 10-3If you’ve read my columns the past couple of years, you will know how much I anticipated one day being able to start my own new holiday traditions similar to what I was able to do with my parents before they passed away.  While I greatly appreciated being able to eat at my friends houses, I longed for something to call my own.

And so this year some traditions began.  Three weeks ago Milton and I decided to decorate our own Christmas tree.  Gone were my monkey decorations (which I now refer to as the bachelorette tree).  We found ourselves walking up and down the aisles of Target to find ornaments and tinsel that matched our style.  We found a red “2010 Christmas” ornament and bought two stockings – each with the letter M on them.

It was great how we organized our little system of hanging up the ornaments.  While it was too cold to hang decorations outside on the bushes, we instead put electric candles in the windows.  I was amused when Milton came back downstairs with one candle.  He said, “I didn’t put this candle up because it’s in the same room as your wedding dress.  I know that room is off limits!”

All of the decorations were up and we were proud of ‘our first Christmas tree’.  We (well at least I) had worked up an appetite and were headed out the door.  Before I could put on my shoes, Milton says “Hold on, there’s one thing missing. “  He walks out to his car and I’m standing there clueless and to what he’s talking about.  He walks inside carrying a big red box and two smaller gray boxes.  I realize that they are my Christmas presents!  They have now been sitting under the tree for three weeks.  Although I have no clue what is in them, they are the best gifst ever!