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Texas Power Team brings new meaning to being tough

East Union Middle Principal Kevin Plue, center, holds a baseball bat presented by Jamie Morrison, left, and Jonathan Caldwell, after a strength demonstration and motivational presentation for the school’s more than 800 students. Morrison and Caldwell are part of the Power Team based in Dallas, Texas.

Members of a Power Team from Dallas, Texas, gave new meaning to what it means to be tough during a recent visit to East Union Middle School.
Jamie Morrison and Jonathan Caldwell are both members of the Power Team, a group of more than a dozen athletes who perform feats of strength and offer motivational and inspirational messages. They traveled to East Union Middle and Forest Hills High School May 15, 2009, courtesy of the Anson Baptist Association who brought the men from Texas for public appearances in Wadesboro.
Their message for East Union Middle’s more than 800 students centered on making the right decisions that affect their future and their education.
“It’s a perfect time, as we go into EOG (End of Grade) testing week, to remind our students to keep their minds focused on their dreams and their goals in life,” said East Union Middle School Principal Kevin Plue. “They need to make sure when they go into those tests that they stay focused on what they want to do with their lives. They have to understand the important role that academics play in that. It’s also very exciting to watch some of these feats of strength.”
Morrison wowed the crowd with various displays of strength, including bursting a hot water bottle by blowing it up like a balloon, breaking a baseball bat with his hands and bending a metal pole. Once he had their attention, he explained what being tough was really about.
“Time will tell who the toughest kids are in school,” Morrison told the students. “You’re not going to get there sitting at the back of the class, slumped down in your chair trying to be cool, talking back to your teacher and getting an F in your class. The toughest kids are the ones who can do something no one else can do.”
This includes saying no to drugs, not drinking alcohol, abstaining from premarital sex and making education a priority. “It doesn’t take strength to go along with the crowd,” he said. “There is nothing to keep you from your goals and dreams but yourself.”
He talked about 13-year old girls he had met who already had two children. “A boy will never love a girl he doesn’t respect, and he will never respect a girl who does not respect herself,” Morrison said.
After the presentation, students crowded around the two Power Team  members, getting autographs and photos taken with the men.
“We do this because we see young people today making bad choices,” Morrison said at the end of the exhibit. “We know young people will follow a lie until they’re told the truth. So we tell them the truth about where their choices will end them up; that they can become whatever they want, no matter what anybody has to say about it; even if they have a learning disability or they come from a broken home. We’re all proof of that with our own personal lives.”
Fellow Power Team member Jonathan Caldwell assisted Morrison during the demonstration. “Students have so many things in their lives that encourage them in the wrong direction; the media, television, magazines, and many times, even our athletes,” Caldwell said. “It’s so hard. They just need a role model, someone who will encourage them in the right direction. In a group of students this size, if even one student can begin to make the right choices, it’s worth it for me to come. We speak to 1,000 to reach one, what ever it takes.”
For more information about the Power Team, visit their website at http://www.thepowerteam.com/.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, Publications Coordinator
Posted: May 22, 2009 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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