I have always prescribed to great leadership as the antidote for all that ails our great country. It is imperative that we look out, point out and acknowledge the gift of leadership for all to see and study. You may have heard me say on one of the many TV shows I work with that great leadership is not about having dominion over others, but it has always been about giving service to others.
That’s exactly what Jalen Rose is doing with the JRLA, The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. I simply love their motto, it states; ENTER A LEARNER, EXIT A LEADER. Jalen Rose grew up and had to exit a tough neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan. He used his gift to play basketball to earn a scholarship to University of Michigan and garnered a career in the NBA with a post career, or some may say a new career, in broadcasting. I have always measured men by the distance traveled. And when you travel this kind of distance, I call you a hero.
In my study of the word hero in the Old Testament I gleaned something different than what is considered a hero in contemporary America. Today’s heroes can be someone rich and famous or a person who has done something that we all give credit because we’ve watched it on TV or social media, so we praise him. But in the Old Testament a hero is someone who goes first and breaks down barriers for others to follow. So if you were the first in your family to graduate from high school and go to college, then all your brothers and sisters are following you. When you look in the mirror you are looking at a hero.
If you are a man that comes from a family of men who are physically abusive to their women and you MAKE and KEEP the declaration, “I WILL NEVER PHYSICALLY ABUSE MY WOMAN,” and all the men that come after you follow you, MY GOD CALLS YOU A HERO.
Jalen Rose broke through Goliath-like barriers. Detroit has the worst test scores and graduation rate in the nation. The city can also boast the worst math scores in the national assessment educational process in its 40 year history. Now with the JRLA (which is a charter school in Detroit) history will change. Jalen will pour out his heart, use his name and his fame, and give his time. And, yes, his money to give under-served youth a private school education at no cost. The JRLA states 85% of their kids will pass the assessment test, 85% of their kids will graduate from high school, and 85% of their kids will go to college.
Folks I just want you to know, the next time you are watching Jalen Rose on TV. YOU ARE WATCHING A HERO. HEROES ARE LEADERS, AND LEADERS ARE HEROES.