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Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons visits John Marshall High School, University of Central Oklahoma
By Carrie Coppernoll
| Published: September 13, 2012
John Marshall High School is home to the Finance Academy, one of the six specialty academic programs at high schools throughout the district. At the high school, about 85 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches because they come from low-income families.
Students and staff were excited for Simmons to visit the school, said freshman Keiara Bowen, 14. Students screamed and cheered, snapping photos with their phones.
For Bowen, Simmons' talk hit home.
“He didn't give up on anything,” she said. It inspires me to push forward and not give up. I used to hang in a bad crowd and now I don't. I can see how much my life has changed.”
Simmons was someone students could relate to and look up to, said freshman Kiana Fininen, 14
“He had a lot of advice because he kind of grew up in the same kind of situation our school has,” Fininen said.
Simmons told students that entrepreneurship is about dogged pursuit of a goal. Some successes have taken longer to achieve than others, he said.
“This is real,” Simmons said. “I got here by working. It's impossible not to get here if you put your head down and work.”