Archive for November, 2009

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The Man Behind the Blog

November 30, 2009

I wanted to post this video so that all of you can get an idea of who I am. This is a video that was shot in my senior year of high school as a result of me winning the Children Defense Fund’s Beat the Odds Scholarship in 2004 (I gave a speech at this year’s award show). I was also featured in the New York Daily News (you can read the article by clicking the link). There’s a lot more to me than this, but what you see here is part of my reason for fighting poverty. I don’t ever want a child to endure what I have or even worse. This is why I’m trying to find meaningful work now. I’m having trouble doing that, but I’m still finding ways to make a difference. I’m doing a workshop on applying to college in February at my local library, and I’m getting more involved with my church. We can always find ways to make a difference. I hope this inspires you to do something. Take care.

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What a Great Find!

November 27, 2009

This was a Lucky Find.

A few days ago, I started to read this book called Private Lives/Public Consequences: Personality and Politics in Modern America by William H. Chafe. I found this book at a book giveaway at my local library. Anyone who knows me knows that I am interested in American History/American Culture type books, which is all thanks to the wonderful American Studies professors at Skidmore College. When I got to this giveaway event, I had my mind set on getting book I would love. I doubted that my kind of books would be there. But, I was wrong.

As soon as I set my eyes on that book, I grabbed it with great speed and held it to my chest as if it were my “precious.” I looked at the inside, read what it was about and realized that I hit the jackpot. I can’t wait to finish it. It just might be the last book I read this year. I got a couple of great books coming up next year. I brought some new ones and am reading old ones that I never really focused on.

The learning never stops. I encourage everyone to go to their local library and read. Before college, I hated reading. Now, I’m learning a bunch of great things I didn’t even learn in college. I wish I would’ve read this much before college. Stay tuned for my thoughts on this books and what I read next. For more information on what I’m reading, click here. Take care.

P.S. I hope you love the new banner. My talented brother made it.

P.S.S. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should read?

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On this Day of Giving Thanks

November 26, 2009

Why Couldn't the President Pardon a Turkey of Color? I'm kidding.

I’m sure that all of you are aware of what this day really is. When the Pilgrims came to America, they had a fest with the Native Americans to give thanks to each other and God for getting the Pilgrims there safely. Unfortunately, the happiness ended. The Pilgrims killed the majority of the Native Americans. Very few Native Americans exist today. As a result of this mass murder, the American government has given the Native Americans their own land and they receive many benefits such as help with the cost of college. Sure, this is great stuff, but think about the thousands who died.

America has removed itself from what Thanksgiving really is. It moved to being a holiday where people give thanks to their loved ones and God. Today, give thanks to everyone in your life and thank God as well. Sometimes we forget to do that. Pray and honor the Native Americans. Pray for those who don’t have it as good as yourself especially those who don’t have a home to go to tonight. Donate your time if you’re not doing anything. Go to Google or http://service.gov/ to look for something to do. You don’t have to make this about yourself and family. Enrich a stranger’s life.

Today, I’ll be eating with my family. It will be the first time in about three years. I’m excited. Before I fill my belly, I’ll be at my church serving dinner. What am I thankful for? God for giving me a new day everyday and getting me to where I am at today. I’m also thankful for friends and family who keep me sane and shower me with love.

Today, go out and be great. God bless you all.

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Switching it Up

November 17, 2009

Picture of me

Hello everyone. My name is Danny Tejada. Some of you might know me from my blog Hip Hop on My Mind. This post has this title because it is what I am doing blog wise. I love Hip Hop, but sometimes there are things I would love to write about that don’t involve Hip Hop. So, I created this blog to serve this need I have. (Don’t worry fans of Hip Hop on My Mind. I will still post there as well.) All of you are in for an amazing ride. Bare with me as I put this blog together. The banner is coming soon! So, to start things off I want to post a speech I just gave at an event called 2009 Beat the Odds® Awards Breakfast. I won this award myself in 2004. It is an award for high school students who overcame great obstacles. The following text is the speech I gave. Enjoy. Feel free to leave any comments.

It is so wonderful to see people of all different backgrounds here this morning. It truly shows that Dr. King’s dream does live. To be here in this room is a miracle and blessing for all of us especially us Beat the Odds winners. Beating the odds may seem like a strange concept at first. But, it is indeed a phrase with a powerful meaning. It means to overcome a challenge, struggle or strife. Believe it or not, all of us have odds we must overcome.

The winners here this morning have beaten a set of odds, but I’m here to tell them that this is just the beginning. You are going to be beating the odds all your life, from college to graduate school to career to raising a family. I can tell you this from my own experience. In my lifetime, I looked into the faces of death and evil. Those faces came in many forms such as racism in college and the absences of parental support. In the end, I always came out on top; not only for the benefit of myself, but for the benefit of others.

But, there is one obstacle that will be the toughest one to overcome. That obstacle is your own self. There will be times where you will ask yourself: “why me?” There will be times where you ask yourself: “what’s the point?” There will be times where you feel like giving up. But, you must remember these words our President once said, “Being defeated is a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.”

We are our worst enemy. We must fight ourselves. It can be done. If you have a dream, believe in yourself, work hard towards making that dream a reality, you will achieve it. Remember, Muhammad Ali said, “Even the greatest have to suffer sometime.” All of you are great, indeed. Don’t let your suffering ever stop you. Let it push you to new heights. I wish you all luck as all of you embark on your next set of odds. Thank you and good day.