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Expert’s message to 5th graders: You have the power to improve your life

A motivational speaker visited Varnett to tell a group of 5th graders they have the power to change their lives. She also urged them to stay clear of the “subtracters” and the “dividers.”

“I want you to use your power to make sure that you become successful in life,” Dr. Verna Cornelia Price said in her message to 44 fifth-graders at the Southwest Campus. “For some of you, your mom or your family won’t be able to help you. You may have to do it by yourself.”

In her book The Power of People: Four Kinds of People Who Can Change Your Life, she defined these people as Adders, Subtracters, Dividers and Multipliers. “Adders and Multipliers can put you on the road to personal power and success while learning how to deal with Subtractors and Dividers who are negatively influencing your life,” Dr. Myles Munroe, the late author and motivational speaker, wrote about the book.

Dr. Price is president of J. Cameron & Associates, an organization committed to empowering and motivating people to realize and positively use their personal power. She also is a leading expert in bringing law enforcement and communities of color together and helping them realize "the ability to unleash their power to make positive change." She said she is conducting a series of meetings with the St. Paul (Minn.) Police Department and high school students to bring them together “for raw and real dialogue.”

Dr. Price, a key player in the movement “Black Lives Matter,”  asked how many students had either a positive or negative experience with police. Several students told their own stories before being asked how the experience made them feel.

In 2005, Dr. Price founded Girls in Action and The Power of People Leadership Institute, a project that she says has positively impacted more than 3,000 girls in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area as well as in Detroit, Chicago and Guatemala. She also co-founded Boys of Hope, which through mentoring and positive role models addresses trends of increased violence and academic engagement in boys' grades 7-9.

“Talking about the problem isn't getting us anywhere,” Dr. Price says. “We need solutions. We need to take action.”

Mrs. Alexander, the Southwest Campus director, and students said the message was worthwhile. “We needed the kids to hear what she had to say,” Mrs. Alexander said.

Dr. Stroud, Varnett's superintendent, administrators and teachers were in attendance. After talking with the 5th graders, Dr. Price visited Southwest PreK where she talked to some children and Mrs. Brown, the campus director.

Earlier, Dr. Price was interviewed by Fox 26 News and ABC News13.

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