Overcoming Barriers


In April I had the pleasure of attending Catalyst in Florida. While at catalyst, I had the privilege of listening to our new International Officer, James Elliot, campaign.  I did not know him and I did not know his background. However,  later I learned why he had such an incredible passion to help people get beyond barriers and labels.



I am inspired by James. He has overcome many challenges to get to where he is today.  In 2011 he was involved in a home invasion robbery with a group of his friends and he got caught.  He was sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role in the crime. He only served 6 years. In his 6 years in prison he went to college.  When PTK started to accept incarcerated students for membership in 2017, James became a member. Then this past April, James became the first ex-convict to be elected as the International President of Phi Theta Kappa.

Barriers to Success

The reason why I am so inspired by James is because I’ve also struggled in my life as well. My troubles were not on the same level as James,  but they still created headaches and became what many would see as hurdles to success. James overcame barriers and achieved the highest officer position in PTK.  I believe that if he can overcome so can anyone else who may be having a rough patch.  So before you give up, make sure that you have exhausted all your resources and that you have done everything that you can to achieve your goals.

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