Encouraging young people to do that is something that Adderley, president of the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, said he always does. "I want to see every student achieve whatever they can perceive," he said. "As an educator, I take it as a personal responsibility to motivate them to achieve beyond what I've done and beyond what others around them have achieved in life."
On February 25, Adderley will expound on his message to today's youth while serving as the keynote speaker at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church's Black History program. He intends to speak about the importance of celebrating Black History Month and the fact that Black History is American history. He also hopes to inspire the youth in attendance to pursue higher education and advanced professional opportunities, "not simply because of my achievements, but because of the necessity to continue educating themselves for the future." Adderley is an accomplished composer and a music educator.
Adderley, who grew up in Columbia, has for more than 25 years taught and served at all levels of education and in roles from elementary to the collegiate level. Prior to accepting the position at the Governor's School, he was the dean of the College at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.
Adderley said that now, more than ever, students need good role models and mentors.
"They will only be successful if we are able to guide them toward options that are available to them and inspire them to recognize that what may be impossible today can surely be possible tomorrow," he said.
Adderley said he is young enough to not have been involved in the Civil Rights Movement but old enough to remember varied degrees of segregation. "There were challenges along the way that didn't allow me the same opportunities that many other students growing up across town had," he said. "But there were opportunities made available to me because of the great work of many of our Civil Rights leaders coming out of segregation into integration during the early 1970s."
Adderley said he had the support of a very strong community, parents who were both educators, and very strong roots in the church. "That allowed me opportunities to see individuals who could be successful in spite of roadblocks that may be have been in the way," he said. And Adderley said, "by taking advantage of some of the opportunities that were available to me, I was able to excel in the arts and excel academically, even when some of the support systems weren't in place."
Adderley strives to instill a level of pride in his two young sons, the students he has worked with, and the students at the Governor's School and convince them that they, too, can succeed despite road blocks in their pathway. A key, he said, is to take advantage of whatever opportunities and support available to them. Doing so empowers them to "achieve beyond their wildest expectations." Adderley said he doesn't want any student to give up or fail because of a perceived handicap that they may have by not being a child of privilege or because of the number of challenges that lie ahead of them. Adderley was a trumpet player but earned his master and doctorate degrees in composition. Had he not pursued a career in education, he likely would have studied law or considered a career in the health profession. "I chose a career in education because of the ability it provided me to have an impact on various communities and to have an impact on the success of others," he said. "I was fortunate to have a number of strong, committed educators who allowed me both academic and professional success. A career in education allowed me to have that same impact on other students."
The Governor's School has 242 students in its residential programs. Students at the school have earned over $28 million in college scholarships with every student earning at least a partial scholarship. "Considering the potential of our student body, they could earn far beyond that amount with each successive graduating class," said Adderley, whose goal includes staying on the cutting edge of providing students with "the tools they will need to be successful not only in artistic careers but also in life." His wife, Meisha, also has a career in education. She is a music educator, serving students in Spartanburg County School District 1.
St. Philip’s Episcopal Church's Black History Program will begin at 2 p.m.on Feb. 25.
The church is located at 31 Allendale Lane, Greenville.
-Article from the Greenville News