September 23 marked the second program of Kappa Week for the Kappa Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated at North Carolina State University. Charles Jones a senior in industrial engineering and active member of the chapter began the program with a brief introduction of guest speaker, Thomas Barksdale. Barksdale, who resides in Charlotte, North Carolina and works as a motivational speaker, mentor, activist, youth pastor and Chaplin for a Christian sports academy school in Charlotte began his memorable speech by discussing the idea of being a visionary and having a vision.

His target audience was college students, specifically juniors and seniors who are on their way to graduation and the working world. “Having a vision” he described, is believing that your life means something. To elaborate more on the topic of having a vision and being a visionary he targeted several points that all visionaries must have in order to achieve their visions or dreams.

Barksdale’s sharp message and quick wit kept his speech comfortable for the audience and relatable for the age group as he stayed active throughout the speech by keeping the floor open for questions or comments on visions and visionaries. “I thought it was phenomenal. It inspired me to pursue my goal more as a motivational speaker.” said Tensie Taylor a senior in communication. Barksdale finalized his speech by mentioning that visionaries should not be afraid to go public because when you accept your vision you have already won. “I learned something, it was inspirational and made me want to get up and do something with my vision.” Kendra McNeil, a freshmen in biological sciences said after the program ended. Barksdale was not hesitant to mentioned that the African American youth of today fail to achieve their visions for fear they may fail based off struggles passed down from generation to generation. He indicated that African American students know they are gifted but struggle with their vision because of trauma from childhood.  He elaborated on the African American youth being robbed of their destiny and mentioned that those people who have not achieved their vision are those people who have not been delivered form other peoples opinions of them.

By incorporating personal life stories into his speech he kept the audience on their toes and interested in his philosophy of life after college, mentioning that those with visions refuse to live by temporary fun. His message not only inspired students in the audience to stay motivated and prepared for the future but also opened the eyes of many African American students as well. “I thought it was a great speech and loved the idea of having a vision. I’ve known him for a year, that’s why I am where I am today” said Jones. The overall program was a success and encouraged students who were in attendance for the speech to prepare for life after higher learning and to have a vision.

Thomas Barksdale’s points for visionaries:

-Visionaries never cancel their self-worth
– A visionary plans
-Visionaries pay attention to details
-Visionaries are resilient
-Visionaries have habits
-Visionaries are self-aware
-Visionaries are constantly taking inventory
-Visionaries tell people about what they want to do
-Visionaries understand that the choices they make have consequences
-Visionaries want to see things different and break traditions