by John Preer
Valdosta State’s campus was visited Tuesday by celebrity judge and community activist Glenda Hatchett. Hatchett was the keynote speaker for the Thomas Paine Scholarship dinner held in the Student Union Ballroom.
Hatchett is an Atlanta native and still resides in the city. Between filming for her new show and being a spokesperson for CASA, Hatchett has only been adding to her extensive body of work since her Daytime Emmy award winning show “Judge Hatchett”.
The Thomas Paine Scholarship is awarded to first generation college students. Hatchett’s speech praised these students and others like them who have succeeded in the face of adversity. “To have first generation students have an opportunity and get the extra support, I think it’s important,” said Hatchett.
Hatchett attributed these adversities to ineffective schooling and poor parental guidance “I think that so many of our children are suffering from under education, from the effects of poverty and a sense of hopelessness,” said Hatchett.
In order to combat these adversities Hatchett urged for the participation of parents to help motivate students. “Our family put a premium on education so my grandparents worked hard to make sure that my mother and her siblings went to college, my mother worked her way through college and I don’t take any of it for granted” said Hatchett.
Hatchett referenced the need for students to be competitive in today’s job market. She spoke about her personal struggle to ensure that her two sons are not only nationally competitive, but globally. “My sons are competing in a different arena … they are competing with men and women across the globe,” said Hatchett.
The speech Hatchett delivered at the scholarship dinner focused on two themes: purpose and passion. She spoke on the lineage of greatness that today’s youth has to follow and how they must step up to the plate and become part of that great lineage.