On Tuesday, WKYT's evening news co-anchor Sam Dick attended McNabb Middle School and spoke to two of Mr. Allison's 8th grade classes. Sam who is the winner of numerous awards including five regional Emmy Awards, and two Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, gave an empowering motivational speech to Mr. Allison’s classes. With an extensive background in storytelling on and off camera, Sam centered his lecture on a quote from Coach Mark Stoops,"Yesterday is gone. Today's a beautiful day-embrace it. Tomorrow's truly not promised." Sam shared emotional and engaging stories about the trials and tribulations he has faced and overcome in his personal life inside and outside of the 35 years working and traveling in the television industry as well as his fantastic life off camera.
He highlighted high engaging stories which included his personal struggles battling and surviving cancer, and being present and witnessing total devastation and loss to the Juarez Hospital in Mexico City, during a 1980s earthquake. He discussed his sojourn to the Republic of Haiti on the island of Hispaniola, with Coach John Calipari of the UK Wildcats. While there, the two of them extended their friendship and selflessly gave back to the impoverished city of Port-au-Prince, not only implementing relief aid, but bringing back with them life lessons they continue to share with all they come across. The things that they did philanthropically were not for charity or publicity, but were obviously aimed for their love and respect of their fellow man.
Sam clearly defined personalized treasured moments we all separately have in life in what he called, "The Gift of Life". He told stories about his early life adventures in college trekking his way alone across certain vast distances of the Pacific Crest Trail. He shared his fortunes in having the opportunity to experience Final Four appearances with the UK Wildcats. He spoke about participating in grueling triathlons and shared an adrenaline rushed experience while flying in a Blue Angel jet, as well as another adventure in being humbled to lower the American flag for the American Cemetery at Normandy. He opened the eyes of many as he described in depth the tragedy of Bluegrass Airport Flight 5191, and how being the anchor on air for the entire coverage impacted him professionally.
His lesson covered themes and stories paralleled to the non-fiction and informational literacy unit the students are currently covering in Mr. Allison’s class. Students will be analyzing their interaction with Sam Dick, and how the life lessons they encountered with Sam have affected them. Students were recommended to implement some of those empowering words in their lives. Several students volunteered to share personal reflections with Sam, Principal Paula Stafford, and their peers in attendance. Students shared openly what they learned from the day. Collectively they realized that we all have the power to choose, to respond, and to change anything that life gives us. One student said in their reflection that, "With enough luck, love, drive, and positivity in our lives, nothing can stop us from achieving the beauty of our dreams."