Students at Okapilco Elementary School learned Wednesday that anything is possible, whether it breaking a bat over your back or being a Disney princess.
Anthony Beckham, founder of Power Unlimited in Jacksonville, Fla., and his wife, Jennifer, came to the school to share their message of making right choices. Beckham said the visit was their first time at Okapilco, but they had been to several other schools in Colquitt County prior to the appearance. They also held assemblies at Stringfellow Elementary School and Funston Elementary School Wednesday.
Beckham said the group’s message was based on character education and helping children make the right choices. They targeted the message to younger children because they said youth is when children begin to develop good or bad choices that continue into adulthood.
“When you’re young,” Beckham said, “you make choices. When you’re older, the choices make you.”
Jennifer, a former princess for Disney parks, spoke to the children because Beckham woke up with laryngitis and could not speak well. She told the students to go after their dreams now, as she wanted to become Cinderella after seeing her in a Disney parade when she was 7 years old. She also told the girls that in order to become a princess, you have to act like one every day.
“No matter what your dreams are,” Jennifer said, “in order to get them, you must make right choices. We want you to form good habits now.”
Beckham went on stage and performed a variety of super-strength feats, such as rolling up a frying pan, bending steel rods and tearing through a 2,000-page phone book. Jennifer told the students Beckham achieved his large physique through hard work every day, eating right, making right choices and staying away from any drugs.
In addition to the feats of strength, Beckham involved students and school Principal Eric Croft into the message. He held two students up and spun them around as they held onto steel rods, and he showed how making wrong choices can be like a monkey being carried on your back that can grow with you. He demonstrated this by carrying on his back — one by one — a second-grade student, a fifth-grade student and Croft.
Jennifer also told the students that the right friends or the wrong friends can also develop personal choices. She said friends are like an elevator that can either take someone up to reach their dreams or bring them down. Everyone needs friends that can encourage them to reach their dreams, she said.
“No matter how big and strong you get,” she said, “you’ll always need encouragement.”