Dalton Sherman

Dallas ISD Back-to-School Convocation Keynote Address

delivered 23 August 2008, American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

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I believe in me. Do you believe in me?

Do you believe that I can stand up here, fearless, and talk to over twenty thousand of you?

Hey, Charles Rice Learning Center, do you believe in me?

C'mon, I canít hear you.

  Thatís right, they do. Because hereís the deal: I can do anything, be anything, create anything, dream anything, become anything -- because you believe in me, and it rubs off on me.

Let me ask you a question, Dallas ISD: Do you believe in my classmates? Do you believe that every single one of us can graduate ready for college or the workplace? You better -- because next week, weíre all showing up in your schools -- all one 150,000 of us.

And, what we need from you is to believe that we can reach our highest potential. No matter where we come from. Whether itís Sunnyside, Dallas, whether itís Pleasant Grove, whether itís Oak Cliff, or North Dallas, or West Dallas, or wherever. You better not give up on us. No, you better not. Because as you know, in some cases, youíre all weíve got. Youíre the ones who feed us, who wipe our tears, who hold our hands, or hug us when we need it. Youíre the ones who love us when sometimes it feels like no one else does, and when we need it the most. Donít give up on my classmates.

Do you believe in your colleagues? Do you? I hope so because they came to your school because they wanted to make a difference, too. Believe in them, trust them, and lean on them when times get tough. We all know, we kids can sometimes make it tough. Am I right? Can I get a amen?! So whether youíre a counselor, or a librarian, a teacher assistant, or work in the front office, whether you serve up meals in the cafeteria -- my favorite -- or help keep the halls clean, or whether youíre a teacher, or a principal, we need you! Please believe in your colleagues, and theyíll believe in you.

Do you believe in yourself? Do you believe that what youíre doing is shaping, not just my generation, but that of my children and my childrenís children?

There's probably easier ways to make a living, but I want to tell you, on behalf of all the students in Dallas, we need you. We need you now more than ever. Believe in yourself.

  Finally, do you believe that every child in Dallas needs to be ready for college or the workplace? Do you believe that Dallas students can achieve? We need you, ladies and gentlemen. We need you to know that what youíre doing is the most important job in the city today. We need you to believe in us, in your colleagues, in yourself, and in our goals. If you donít believe, well, Iím not goin' there. I want to thank you for what you do for me and for so many others.


Do you believe in me?

Because, I believe in me.

And you've helped me get to where

I am today.



...Thank you.

...Thank you.

...Thank you.

Book/CDs by Michael E. Eidenmuller, Published by McGraw-Hill (2008)

Page Updated: 1/23/22

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