What happens when a Hollywood Actress, a Secret millionaire and Chef to the stars go back to school?

Can we Inspire to Achieve? Yes we can. Yes they did. I was flattered and honoured to be invited to be a VIP guest at St Matthew Academy, Blackheath, London on 6th October 2011, where eight successful professionals inspired a hall full of students and professional men and women.

The St Matthew Academy organised and hosted evening entitled ‘ Yes We Can’ was inspired by the words of President Barack Obama to mark Black History Month at the school. The evening of inspirational speeches, was expertly and professionally hosted by ITV News Presenter Charlene White and Musician and MTV Presenter Darae Palmer, with students Taylor Dior Rumble and Tolu magnificently co-hosting.

Guest speakers spoke to an audience of around 125 pupils plus business, political and media professionals and engaged them with very inspiring and motivational talks. All had a message of working hard to get to the positions they are at and stressed the importance of knowledge, getting qualifications and the importance of continuous learning beyond the confines of the classroom and formal academic lessons. ‘Knowledge is power’ as the saying goes was the core message.

It was a delight to listen to eight inspirational speakers including Hollywood Actress Naomie Harris, Head Chef, The Ivy, Gary Lee, Lieutenant Commander Neville Bryce MBE of the Royal Navy, Property Tycoon and ITV’s ‘Secret Millionaire’  Caroline Marsh, Actor and Director Darren Raymond, Jeweller, Natasha Faith, Lambeth Councillor Lorna Campbell and Barrister and Poet, David Nieta.

All were quizzed by the students in a Q&A afterwards and answered openly and honestly a set of interesting questions. It was fascinating, for instance, to hear how Neville Bryce opted for a navy career, when a promising football career beckoned. Very surprising indeed, but he had no regrets and gave his reasons as doing so to avoid going down a path that he feared would have ended up with him in jail like a number of his schoolmates.

David delivered a barnstorming speech, about life as a Barrister, sharing the values of integrity, honesty and truthfulness and “simply doing the right thing” that underpins his practicing ethics. With his distinctive and lovely sounding Jamaican accent, his was an awesome and colourful delivery that rocked the hall.

Many thanks must go to the Deputy Principal Martin Nirsimloo for organising and hosting such a marvellous event, which I’m sure VIP delegates enjoyed and benefitted from almost as much as the students.

Here is a 3 minute video link played on the night.

Michael Peters, Tiemo Talk of the Town

12th October 2011

St Matthew Academy is regarded as the leading enterprise school in the country and the only institution where students are encouraged to be enterprising from the age of 3-16. The Academy has used the words of President Barack Obama as a source of inspiration and have based their curriculum, careers, enterprise, citizenship and mentoring programmes under the banner of ‘yes We Can’.

The event was sponsored by Color Blind Cards and PRECIOUS. The 5th Annual Precious Awards 2011 will be held on 27th October 2011.

The subject of Education will be one topic covered at Tiemo Talk of The Town’s ‘In Celebration of Men II’ for International Men’s Day on 19th November 2011. The 2011 theme is ‘Giving Boys the best possible start in life’.

Full details and advanced booking information www.tiemo.co.uk

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