One voice: THS students encouraged to stand together

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – What students learn in high school can set the stage for the rest of their lives, WTVA’s Julee Brown told teens at Tupelo High School on Monday during the school’s annual Black History Program.
Brown was the guest speaker at the event, which also featured student performers.
“This is an opportunity for all of us to reflect, regardless of race, age or creed,” Brown said. “It is time for each of us to look at our lives and judge it.
“It doesn’t matter how long you live, if you’re not doing anything with your life.”
During her speech, Brown had two students hold a tape measure across the gym’s floor, representing the length of a student’s life. Two others the held up a small piece of that tape to demonstrate the small amount of time that people spend in high school.
Yet some students choose not to finish their studies, even though they hold such importance for a students’ future, she said.
“There are three things to do with life: invest it, waste it or spend it,” Brown said. “You can spend it trying to find fame and pleasure and never being fulfilled. You can waste it by dropping out of high school and disrespecting parents, teachers and leaders. Or you can invest it to do something that will outlast it.”
Students need to come together and support each other, Brown said.
“Together we stand,” she said. “Together we can.”
Senior Damion Dillard said several students at the school could benefit from Brown’s words. The message he got was to just be positive and to try to not let anyone get him down, he said.
Added junior Kelly Pratt: “You only have a certain amount of time to do what it takes to succeed in high school.”
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or

Click video to hear audio