The Legacy of Leadership
By Karen Morgan
Mrs. Willie Kennedy Inspires & Improves the Lives of Others
Making the lives of others better is something we should all aspire to do. That is the driving force behind ThirstyInc.org., an organization I discovered through my co-worker, Pat Stover. Her daughter, Jasmine Stover, has spearheaded Thirsty Inc., whose mission is to uplift, challenge and provide community service events and workshops to secondary and post- secondary students. A kickoff event to raise awareness about Thirsty Inc. was held recently at Carolina’s Vineyards and Hops in Winston-Salem.
Jasmine’s family, mentors, friends, and supporters attended the event, but I found one mentor in particular, Mrs. Willie Kennedy, a joy to talk with. During our conversation, I learned that not only was she a mother of three grown children, but that her career included having been a nurse and a nurse instructor. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Sociology and finished up her last semester of this program during her first year of Law School at Wake Forest University! She finished her law degree in two-and-a-half years.
Mrs. Kennedy has inspired and improved other people’s lives, not only through her academic achievements, but also her community and church involvement. Mrs. Kennedy had served as the Director of the Winston-Salem Chapter of National Youth Achievers, of which Jasmine was a member. Mrs. Kennedy said that she required the members of her chapter to write an essay and give a presentation.
Her involvement with youth served as a solid foundation, but she has now “passed the baton” on to Jasmine, who continues that legacy of mentoring and leadership for the youth in our community.
The legacy of improving the quality of life for the youth in our community is continuing through the efforts of Thirsty Inc. Five projects under the umbrella of the organization include:
- Project H20 is a way for youth to give back to their community.
- Project O.S.M. is a life skills workshop series including topics such as financial literacy, social awareness, horticulture, fitness, wellness, and tailoring.
- Project 2s4k provides a pool of trained college students from Winston-Salem State University who teach middle and high school students with emphasis on community service and life skills.
- Project Study Hall provides volunteers for homework and life skills assistance to middle and high school students. And,
- Project Shadow Me allows youth to gain insight, build ethics and experience the workforce.
If you want to contribute your time and knowledge to help improve someone else’s life and to make a difference, contact Jasmine Stover at ThirstyInc.org and check out YouTube videos on Thirsty Inc.org for more information.
We owe a debt of gratitude to leaders such as Mrs. Kennedy who have been such a positive influence in the lives of many youth and young adults in our community.