by Xavius Robinson, Class of 2013
Good Evening, I am Xavius Robinson, a proud C5 Georgia Graduate of the Class of 2013, currently attending Beulah Heights University where I will major in Counseling with a Minor in ministerial studies. I stand here today as a living representation of what your money does. It brings young adults like me to an important event like this to let you know how much I love your wallets, I mean you!
I am so honored to stand here before you on behalf of the greatest Leadership program in the world. Growing up in single parent house-hold, things weren’t bad off but everyday wasn’t peachy. There was always something in me that wanted to create a better world, I just never knew how. I was always being told that you have such a passion to give back and have a servant’s heart, but I just always felt like those words would never really turn into action. C5 Georgia brought the leader out of me, and for that I will always be grateful.
This experience was one like none other–from the long periods away from home, to the rushing Carolinian waters, the in-depth cabin insights, to the various leadership and team building skills, college tours, and how I dare I forget the life-changing trip to Wyoming. Such simple conversations over marshmallows and chocolate led to book drives to raise awareness about the importance of reading at an early age, or the missed flights that led to being stranded at the airport and watching young children being shipped and sold, causing an entire class of leaders to investigate into the dark shadows of human trafficking.
C5 has opened my eyes to a world that is in chaos because everybody is waiting on “somebody else to take charge,” but through C5, I have learned that the “Somebody Else” is ME; I am the leader who can make the difference and change the world. One of my favorite quotes says “We must be the change we wish to see in the world” (Mahatma Ghandi) and that is what I have gained from C5. Over the years I have become Challenge Ready, Community Focused, Character Driven, College Bound, and Committed to a better future, which collectively make up the five C’s.
My first two years at Camp helped to ignite the spark inside of me to build a better place. Learning how to pitch a tent, and cook over an open fire, race down a rushing stream in raft, all of which could not have been done if I wasn’t “Challenge Ready”. I learned to appreciate where I come from, understanding that there is a community who needs help and knowing that my hands and heart were just the instruments they need. Understanding that the only way I could bring that change was to become “Community Focused”, my how C5 was changing my life. But then came the biggest step of them all, I would meet someone who was in so many ways like me and in some ways not, a fellow C5 student. We would fuss and argue, building up so much animosity towards each other not realizing we were both experiencing the same hardships back home. Little did we know that we were about to embark on the GREATEST life changing experience that would totally alter our character, physical, mental, and emotional view of our ourselves and the world, the infamous C5 Wyoming Trek.
Thirty-miles, fifty pounds, and tons of attitude–yes even for the guy–blood, sweat, tears, pain, mood swings, food, and flight delays. That experience opened my eyes and deepened my appreciation for life, and now that the difference between my fellow classmate and I were resolved we could truly appreciate this “Character Driving” moment. Now I was ready to take the world by storm, but I needed just one more thing. A college degree, and it seemed as is if C5 knew exactly how to help. The college tour reaffirmed my determination to be College Bound and to graduate successfully from a four year institution. You see, C5 did more than just write out the 5 C’s of the program, it was instilled inside of me. Because of C5 I, along with hundreds of other teens, am committed to a better future. However it’s not just the counselors or the program directors, it’s YOU. I stand here tonight not as representation of what you have done, or what you will do. I stand here tonight as a representation of what you ARE doing: driving character, focusing on the community, setting challenges, preparing us for colleges, and most importantly building the future we all wish to see. Because of you, I am, you are, we are building that future we all wish to see. Thank you!