Small Business Consultant & Entrepreneur
Pictured with his mother, Phyllis Parks
Retired from Norfolk Southern
From the very beginning, you have always been the most special person in my life, the one who has nurtured my individuality, instilled in me self-confidence, and supported me through the good times and the bad.
Thank you for being such a ferocious advocate for me and placing such a high value on education. You wanted the best for me and were willing to do whatever it took to get it. You are my greatest champion, and I am forever grateful.
You encouraged me to accept the challenge of attending Baylor School and becoming its first African-American graduate. When I said that I wanted to go to Harvard University, some scoffed, but you told me that I could achieve any goal to which I set my mind. Today, I am a Harvard graduate too.
When I think of lessons you’ve taught me and things I’ve learned from you, I don’t even know where to begin. I owe you for all that I am, and a simple thank you seems way too inadequate.
Above anything, I am most grateful for the example that you have always set for me. Community service is central to who you are. As a young woman in the 1960s, you participated in lunch counter sit-ins, and today you volunteer at The Bethlehem Center in Alton Park, around the corner from where we lived and where my grandfather played Santa Claus every
Christmas. You also served as president of the
Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and continue to work as a volunteer there. Thank you for inspiring me and being such a wonderful role model.
Finally, you have taught me the importance of love and family. Thank you for bringing my stepfather, Oscar, into our lives and for being the best possible grandmother to my daughter, Dayna. You are the very best, and I love you more than mere words could ever say.
All my love,
“I owe you for all that I am, and a simple thank you seems way too inadequate.”