Michael Elam

Michael Elam

As a young man, I participated in competitive sports.

During those activities, I would hear my coaches say phrases like, “Winners never quit and quitters never win;” as well as, “When the going gets tough the tough get going.”

I know these words were spoken to encourage and motivate me and others to continue our efforts and develop perseverance because it is a key characteristic for success. For an athlete, perseverance is an essential trait because it helps keep him/her steadily working toward the hope of achieving their goal.

When an individual loses hope, despair rushes in to replace it. That is why two Capitol policemen committed suicide after the traumatic riot and attack on the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6. Making the decision to end one’s life is the type of decision made when all hope seems to be lost. I pray for comfort for those families experiencing such unimaginable loss; but I can’t help but ask what could have been said or done to give those individuals the will to live and persist.

It has been said that a man can survive for weeks without food, days without water, even minutes without air but not an instant without hope. Hope is what gives us a reason for living. Hope begins with someone conveying even a glimmer of a different, better, safer, less painful, more joyful possibility tomorrow, and each day after, to another person who cannot see it himself/herself at the time.

Abraham Lincoln’s life history is a great example of perseverance. He ran for public office and lost eight times before being elected President of the United States. Refusing to lose hope or give up, regardless of setbacks or failures. Staying the course. I know that students taking classes at Halifax Community College face all kinds of challenges. Those life issues can be discouraging and often seem insurmountable, but a student who demonstrates perseverance will eventually be successful.

Our college personnel value each student and are committed to their success. They are available and eager to provide encouragement, support and other resources to help our students persevere. We provide remote and in-person assistance from a licensed mental health counselor, highly qualified professional tutors and expert academic advisers. You can reach them through our website at halifaxcc.edu.

Michael Elam is the president and CEO of Halifax Community College.

Michael Elam is the president and CEO of Halifax Community College.