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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.

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3 comments

  1. […] 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). […]


  2. […] 8, 2010 YES!!! Last night, I attended 2010′s Beat the Odds Awards dinner. Just as I did at last year’s event, I gave a speech. This year’s speech was about getting young people to step up. The Beat the […]


  3. […] My approach now is to help young people in poverty get out one by one. I do that by sharing my life story, providing words of encouragement and advice, providing education on the college admission process […]



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