‘I want you to say I am valuable. I have a purpose’

iJAG brings motivational speaker to West



Inspirational speaker , artist, and songwriter TC Boyd motivates his West High audience. iJAG invited Boyd who shared about losing his brother to gun violence. “[I want you to] tell yourself, I am valuable. I have a mission. I can accomplish greatness,” Boyd said.

Joseph Heirigs, Reporter

On Nov. 13, iJAG (Iowa Jobs for American Graduates) hosted the artist, motivational speaker, and songwriter, TC Boyd, to motivate West High students.

TC Boyd displayed a video that detailed a trying and vital time in his life, a short movie overlayed with his song, “It ain’t easy.” It entailed and visually described Boyd playing basketball with his older brother and another friend, before another trio approached them. The game became heated, and so did the players with one another, with a fight eventually breaking out. Two weeks later, Boyd’s brother was shot in a driveby, murdered. 

The audience saw that Boyd struggled to cope with the loss of his brother, and ignored the advice of his friends not to go out and avenge his brother. Taking a pistol with him, he went out and approached the man who had killed his brother, tackled him to the ground, and held the gun against his head, but ultimately found the resolve to decide against avenging his brother by killing his shooter. 

“If I retaliated, my life would’ve gone down[hill],” Boyd said.

Boyd gave the message that no one’s story has to be as rough as his, and people struggle in different ways. It is how people face adversity and overcome it that he gave advice on.

“When we keep our goals in front of us, nothing can stop us from going toward it,” Boyd said. 

This is what TC called “Mission Minded Living,” meaning you focus on achieving and accomplishing goals in life one baby-step at a time.

Ellie Sachleben, president of the 11th-12th iJAG team, plans on graduating from high school and then pursuing a higher education to become a teacher. 

“It was very interesting, and while it didn’t pertain to my life, it was definitely a relevant conversation, as is any reminder to stay on the right track,” Sachleben said.

After TC’s presentation, he spoke that he wanted everyone to remind themselves that they are valuable, that they do have a purpose, and that they can achieve greatness. 

iJAG teacher, Cynthia Taylor was recommended Boyd’s services by KWQC reporter, Rebecca David.

iJAG is led by instructor Nicole Scott, who leads the ninth-10th grade division, and Taylor, who leads the 11th-12thgrade division. 

“It’s a career-readiness and life-readiness class,” Taylor said. “ [Another purpose of it is] sharing our story and moving forward.” 

 “It’s [iJAG] is a class that should be required,” senior Sam Tank said. 

The group focuses on things such as mentor projects with other schools such as Hayes. They host various speakers, lead fundraisers, and do community service. 

On top of that, they ready students for their future and their goals. Whether it be the next step in their education or going on to a job right out of high school.

“My personal mission is to inspire and empower people toward greatness in their lives,” Boyd said.