Anthony Brock, head of school at Valiant Cross Academy, challenged graduates at Troy University’s Montgomery Campus to “go forth and be great.”
Speaking during Monday’s commencement ceremony at the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts, which saw more than 120 students receive degrees, Brock told graduates and their guests to consider what impact they will have on their communities and their world.
“Ask yourself: What impact will I make? Our accomplishments are fleeting. In the end, it is not what award you got, what degree you received or what school you attended that will matter but, rather, what you did to help others along the way,” Brock said. “Life is about helping others.”
Brock shared five P’s that students at the all-male Valiant Cross Academy are taught – Prior planning prevents poor performance.
“You graduates have shown that by planning prior you have achieved your goal of receiving your degree,” he said. “Whatever it is you want to do in life, make sure that you plan and prepare properly for it. Excuses are easy to come by, but excuses are monuments to nothing that build bridges to nowhere.”
Brock urged graduates to carry out their callings.
“God needs vessels, and there is something that God is calling each person in this room to do,” he said. “If you don’t do it, it will never get done. It could be through your profession. It could be through volunteer work, but God has put something in you. Whatever it is inside you that God is calling you to do, do it. Heed that calling going forward.”
Brock founded Valiant Cross with his brother, Fred, and support from the local community in 2015. The school’s vision is to increase the literacy rate, attendance rate and ultimately the graduation rate of scholars, providing them with the skills necessary to become lifelong learners and productive citizens. The school began its first year with a sixth grade class with the goal to add a new class each year through the 12th grade. Beginning in August, the school will expand, leasing space at Troy University’s Montgomery Campus in order to house its eighth and ninth grade classes.
Brock, a graduate of Lanier High School and Alabama State University, worked for 13 years in the Autauga County school system and also served as the last principal at St. Jude Educational Institute before the school closed. He and his wife, D’Tanja, have two daughters.