SPRINGFIELD, Fla. (WMBB) – Reggie Dabbs, a motivational speaker, brought his story to students at Rutherford middle and high school on Monday.
Dabbs said the world we’re living in now has a lot of hurt, pain, and sorrow. He grew up in the foster system because he was the only child out of his 3 other siblings his mom didn’t want.
A teacher and her husband took him in and up until he was 12 years old he had no last name. Dabbs wants students to know that he experienced tough times and even considered suicide.
“But we’re going to make it together, we’re going to get through this, we’re going to be better people,” Dabs said.
Dabbs said life is a roller coaster and some days everything will be going great and others days you just want to quit.
“But listen to me my brother, never give up on the ride of life because they will fix the ride, the only question is my sister, will you be on the ride when they fix it,” Dabbs said.
Rutherford Principal Robert Mitchell said it helps students when they can relate to someone who’s been through what they’ve been through.
“He’s had some experiences they can relate to, and so he’s made it,” Mitchell said. “He’s an encouragement to people who’s had those types of experiences, who’ve lived that kind of life, who maybe came out of foster care, and had some rough upbringings.”
Dabbs hopes his message will encourage students to spread hope to others.
“Just starting in your classroom, start with a friend who didn’t smile today,” Dabbs said. “Start in the cafeteria with someone who’s always sitting by themselves, keep moving forward, and don’t give up.”
Dabbs speaks to more than a million students each year around the world. The Bay County Florida Department of Health sponsored Dabbs’ visit. Rutherford hopes to invite him back next year.