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Mosby-Jones inspires students at convocation

By Andra Hale
Contributing Writer

The 2008-2009 school year started off on a high note with UNCP’s convocation, which took place Aug. 27. The annual event is used to welcome freshmen to UNCP’s campus by introducing them to some of the distinguished faculty and staff, and hear motivational words of wisdom from a guest speaker.

This year’s speaker was University of Colorado graduate Andrea Mosby-Jones.

Mosby-Jones, 44, spoke to the capacity crowd about life, education and events that helped change her life for the better.

When Mosby-Jones was 16, she found out she was pregnant. She later gave birth to her son Tyrone. Instead of looking at her situation negatively, she took her obstacle in stride and prevailed. She went on to graduate high school and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Denver. She later received a master’s degree in Urban and Regional planning from the University of Colorado.

She has spent the last 17 years touring the country giving speeches.Mosby-Jones talked directly to freshmen about the importance of succeeding in life despite the odds against you.

“I made a decision after I learned I was pregnant not to be a statistic,” Mosby-Jones said.

She also expressed her disappointment on the state of America’s generation and their lack of ambition.

“America can’t afford to be mediocre anymore,” Mosby-Jones said.

She went on to discuss charismatically with the audience about fear that comes as you move through life and looking within yourself to conquer that fear. “You gotta look inside to discover your greatest. And not only look inside, but look inside to go through stuff and make it.” Mosby-Jones said.

Possibly what received the biggest audience response was her words on the importance of forgiveness. She told the story of a potential meeting between her son and his father, who have never met.

According to Mosby-Jones, her son’s father didn’t show up to a dinner meeting and instead of allowing her son to be mad, she urged him to forgive his absentee father. “Let go of your past,” Mosby-Jones exclaimed. Those words ignited a round of applause from those in attendance.

She went on to tell the energetic crowd that holding on to anger is like a rubber band. If you tried to make progress, that anger snaps you backward and prevents you from moving forward. She believes the only way to succeed is letting that anger go.

“When opportunity knocks, you open it. Don’t let fear stop you,” Mosby-Jones said.

Tyrone, the son who changed her life, is now 28 and works for IBM. According to her website, when she isn’t speaking around the country she loves to jog, read, and spend time with her family and friends.

And she said she truly believes people should live life to the fullest and enjoy yourself.


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Updated: June 18, 2008
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