Robin Roberts: wanted to be here to say thank you "for your passion and compassion"
"proud to stand before you and say that I am a product of the public school system of this country"
first job was driving a school bus
siblings and she were born in different states, as her father was in the Tuskegee Airmen
parents went to Howard University
mother served on the state board of ed in Mississippi, father was on the local school board
"those were some very lively dinner conversations; they both felt like they were sleeping with the enemy sometimes"
discovered in high school that she didn't have the ability she needed to be a pro tennis player
thought to be a sports journalist
putting herself in the right space; get experience at the local radio station
"dream big; focus small"
"put yourself in position"
tells a story of DJing on weekends for the local radio station, people call in and wanted "to take you home to Momma"
"No, you really don't want to do that; that wouldn't work out for either of us."
"not a lot of people who want to put someone who looks like me in position in sports"
ESPN: didn't want to be the answer to a trivia question: what black woman was hired in 1988 by ESPN and fired in 1989?
was later hired after more experience
was very happy there, in her comfort zone, then "realized I was letting fear" control me
had Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson there "to catch me"
"where fear knocks, let faith answer the door"
early detection is key for cancer...and that's when she found the lump
her mother said "Make your mess your message"
share what is happening to let others know and be warned and be informed
putting others in position to succeed
"everybody has something and everybody has something to help"
be willing to put yourself in that position; make the necessary sacrifices
comments (in response to Q) that biggest problem facing public ed is teacher salaries
was as amazed as everyone else that she was salutatorian