The most important thing in life is to finish well, WREG-TV anchor April Thompson told inductees to Alpha Kappa Mu honor society April 8 in an address meant to inspire.

“As you begin your career, you will face many things; you will be challenged, praised, critiqued and criticized,” she said.  “What you do now and the years to come will have a lasting impact on someone’s life. It is a new way of thinking long term. It is not just looking at the present and thinking about the future but also making sure that when you finish, you finish well.”

Finishing well can be accomplished by following three steps, Thompson said. She said they are working for God, making a difference and leaving a legacy.

“Always work as if you are working for God,” she said. “There is no job without the opportunity to be of service. Work as if you are on a mission because you are. Each stop, job and journey you face is a teaching and reaching moment, a chance to be of service. Don’t just work for the paycheck.”

She also encouraged honor students to “step up.”

“You see people taking shortcuts, not really giving everything they can, not working as if they are doing God’s appointed work but working just enough to get by and on to the next job. You see people…doing whatever it takes to get ahead.

“But, be the best. Give your all,” she said.  “Be slow to criticize and quick to praise. When others arrive late, you arrive early. When others won’t take the shift, you step up.”

She encouraged inductees to make a difference and take charge of their lives.

“While you’re making that living, don’t forget to make a difference,” she said. “Whatever job you choose, there is a chance to contribute to one special thing only you can give. Wherever you choose to live, there is chance to impact those around you. Be of service to your community.

“Take this wonderful tapestry called life and be bold, daring, intentional, and do it like no one else can,” she said. “Life is really what you make it, and if you make it about others and not yourself, you will find true joy.”

She also stressed the importance of leaving a legacy. If no one remembers you when you’re gone, then you have not lived, Thompson said.

“In essence, if you have not made an impact or impacted someone’s life, then you missed the whole point of living. We should always be behind something in this world that others can remember us by. That will become our legacy. Life is not measured in how many days we have; it is measured in what we do with those days.  So make sure you leave your legacy.”


Nineteen students were inducted, including:

Jessica Aytchan

Estella Carey

Verena Clark

Tritobia Dickerson

Sekou Fofana

Christian Jefferson

Portia J. Johnson 

Falilou Keita

Jamarco Long

Shawanda Lester

Nyasha Makoni

Deja McIntosh

Amanda Miller

Clarence McClain

Sheila McKay

Carla Payne

Constance Robinson

Rodney Taylor

Cheryl Wakefield

Also during the ceremony, Dr. Elton Weaver announced that Alpha Kappa Mu president, Ayele Akibulan, was the recipient of the Vanderhart Peace Award for his work in Concerned Citizens of Memphis, a charity he founded recently to help the homeless and former gang members.

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