Want to Create Life-Long Memories? Engage Students!

MPS Summer FastTrac Progam #2 I participated in the Minneapolis Public School System’s summer program called the Fast Track Program.  This is a summer school designed to assist eight graders, providing transitional skills as they prepare to enter high school in the fall. After the students read Manhood From the Hood and completed the workbook, I was invited to meet and engage the students.

I cherish the moments when I can engage students, listening to their questions and feedback after they have read Manhood From the Hood.

“Mr. Roddy, how did you feel when you were growing up and didn’t have the confidence in yourself as a basketball player? Why did you decide to reach out and meet your biological father?  How did you feel while you were thinking of trying to contact him? Who helped you to find him? What was he like when you finally got a chance to meet him? What type of person was he?”

As I engage their insightful questions, they help me reflect on my own middle school years. I remembered my own nervousness and tension transitioning to high school. We shared similar feelings about our transition. Looking into their faces I saw myself!

Mr. Roddy, “How did you deal with going from middle school to high school? What did you like about high school? What were some of your challenges? How did you deal with them? If you had a choice would you go to the same high school?”

These engagements with the students left me with hope for our youth. These middle school youth were insightful, intelligent, encompassed all ethnic groups and were compassionate regarding my personal challenges (and their own) transitioning from middle school to high school.

Wouldn’t you agree that one way to create positive, life affirming memories is to allow students to ask questions and encourage them to share their thoughts?


Words matter in leadership.

Bridal Tribe“Thank you for being a guest on our show during our 3rd phenomenal year! Your words of wisdom are still making an impact on our listeners…

As a Tribal Wisdom Internet Radio guest, you offered an important message for our audience of singles, marriage minded, and married listeners with your own uniqueness, knowledge and personality.”  ~ Cynthia W. Bridal Tribe

I was honored several months ago to be a guest on the TribalWisdom Blogtalkradio show hosted by Cynthia W.   The topic Leadership.

Please listen to the show at  http://ow.ly/Jil9u

Isn’t it good to know that there are many forms of leadership?


Isn’t it exciting to meet friends of those we mentor?

Dustin, Bill, Cortez & Marcus“Mr. Roddy, would you be willing to meet a few of my friends”? ~ Marcus A.


Mentoring young men is a component of my life’s mission.  Their willingness to share their experiences with their friends is fulfilling to observe.   It’s honorable when a young man shares his experiences with others.


“Mr. Roddy, I know you’re really busy running your business and spending time with me but I would like you to meet one of my best friends who could use your advice.” Boone W.”


I’ve experienced some of the most fulfilling moments as a mentor by meeting friends of the mentees.  They want to share the love.


Do we as mentors feel uplifted when those we mentor invite us to meet their friends?



Don’t real men know when to collaborate or be in competition?

Bill & NickCollaborate: 1. To work together, especially in joint intellectual effort.

Competition: 1. The act of competing as for profit or a prize. 2. A test of skill or ability. 3. Rivalry between two or more businesses striving for the same customers and market


 Had several meetings with business partners last week. One of the best was with Larry Umphrey, Director of Recreation Centers and Programs at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. I ran into the Assistant Superintendent, J. Nicholas Williams, in between meetings.

I noticed him preparing for a meeting that day. He was dressed in a nice looking suit and beautiful bow tie.

“Bill, please come in. How are things going?  Please let me know if you need any assistance from me.”

Being a business owner since 1997 I’ve reflected on many potential successful relationships that could have been successful.  Our male egos got in the way!  Competition became the focal point and collaboration didn’t have a chance. I’ve learned over the years to seek cooperation and use competition when its appropriate. Competition. Talking trash to my golfing buddies on the first tee box!

As men we are naturally competitive. It’s one of the characteristics that make us who we are.

Our collaboration serves thousands of youth and adults yearly in our computer centers in the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board public parks.


Wouldn’t you agree that knowing when to seek collaboration or when to compete would enhance male and female relationships?