Speaker Kristi Jenkins Challenges Students to Live With Purpose at OFTC’s Black History Month Event

Kristi Jenkins of Sandersville served as guest speaker during Oconee Fall Line Technical College’s North Campus annual Black History Month Event, Wednesday, February 22.

Kristi Jenkins of Sandersville served as guest speaker during Oconee Fall Line Technical College’s North Campus annual Black History Month Event.

Kristi Jenkins of Sandersville served as guest speaker during Oconee Fall Line Technical College’s North Campus annual Black History Month Event.

“Will it have mattered that you lived,” Jenkins asked while encouraging those in attendance to push through hardships and live a life of purpose. “I have to continue my life knowing that the actions I take matter. And while this world may come with some pretty steep hills, these hills build muscle. It’s worth it because your life matters,” she said.

Referencing a short story about a butterfly preparing to come out of its cocoon, Jenkins shared that sometimes one has to face difficulties in order to become who they’re meant to be. “We have to go through the struggle so we can become who we were created to be.”

“Our struggle is forming our own wings of purpose, beauty and freedom; but the struggle is necessary because you matter,” she said.

While hardships are something no one likes to endure, Jenkins reminded those attending that it’s within those difficult times that one’s character is shaped: “Make good decisions; because you matter. Maintain personal integrity; because you matter. Do right things right, consistently; because you matter.”

And though it can be hard to endure the struggles, Jenkins reminded the audience of the importance of staying the course and refusing to quit. “Don’t allow your setbacks to keep you from making your comeback,” she said. “Anything is possible if you do not quit. Sometimes it will be hard – that’s just life. But allow yourself the opportunity and the blessing to go through it and to know the struggle is working for you and not against you.”

“You matter. And if that doesn’t matter to you now, make it matter and keep going until it does.”

Students enjoyed pizza and were privileged with the opportunity to listen to the speeches of the college’s Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) winner, Nathanael Williams, and the Rick Perkins Award (RPA) winner and Instructor of the Year, Kevin Corbin. OFTC Adult Education student Brandlyn Jones and current staff member, Dontavius Jones, also led the group in two songs.

OFTC GOAL winner, Nathan Williams.

OFTC GOAL winner, Nathan Williams.

OFTC Adult Ed student, Brandlyn Jones leading the group in a song.

OFTC Adult Ed student, Brandlyn Jones leading the group in a song.

OFTC RPA winner & Instructor of the Year, Kevin Corbin.

OFTC RPA winner & Instructor of the Year, Kevin Corbin.

OFTC Dean of Enrollment Management, Dr. Saketha Adams, Kristi Jenkins, and Andre Jenkins.

OFTC Dean of Enrollment Management, Dr. Saketha Adams, Kristi Jenkins, and Andre Jenkins.