Lincoln University president returns to Columbus to inspire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lincoln University president returns to Columbus to inspire community

Posted: Updated:
Dr. Kevin Rome, President of Lincoln University, addresses community members at Mildred Terry Library in Columbus, Ga. Dr. Kevin Rome, President of Lincoln University, addresses community members at Mildred Terry Library in Columbus, Ga.
Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson presents Dr. Kevin Rome with a key to the city. Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson presents Dr. Kevin Rome with a key to the city.
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • 9-year-old raises funds for Flint RiverQuarium

    9-year-old raises funds for Flint RiverQuarium

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:30 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:30:46 GMT
    The Flint RiverQuarium has more funds for feeding its animals thanks to the efforts of one 9-year-old girl.More >>
    The Flint RiverQuarium has more funds for feeding its animals thanks to the efforts of one 9-year-old girl.More >>
  • Metro Albany's jobless rate climbs .3%

    Metro Albany's jobless rate climbs .3%

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:54 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:54:21 GMT
    Information from The Georgia Department of Labor- The Georgia Department of Labor says Metro Albany's unemployment rate increased to 8.7 percent in June, up three-tenths of a percentage point from 8.4More >>
    The rate increased because of seasonal factors, such as the summer job loss among non-contract school workers and temporary layoffs, primarily in manufacturing. There were 60,500 jobs in Albany in June, down by 300, or 0.5 percent, from 60,800 in May. Most of the loss came in state government and the service-related industries.More >>
  • Air Algerie flight vanishes from radar

    Air Algerie flight vanishes from radar

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:21 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:21:02 GMT
    ALGIERS, Algeria (WALB) - An Air Algerie flight with 110 passengers and 6 crew member has vanished from radar.The flight, which was headed to Algiers from Burkina Faso, disappeared about 50 minutes after takeoff.The plane's flight path passes over Mali where military unrest continues in country's north. The U.S. recently banned flights into and over African conflict zones, including Mali.This comes just days after a Malaysian Airliner was shot down over Ukraine killing everyone on boardCopyri...More >>
    ALGIERS, Algeria (WALB) - An Air Algerie flight with 110 passengers and 6 crew member has vanished from radar.The flight, which was headed to Algiers from Burkina Faso, disappeared about 50 minutes after takeoff.The plane's flight path passes over Mali where military unrest continues in country's north. The U.S. recently banned flights into and over African conflict zones, including Mali.This comes just days after a Malaysian Airliner was shot down over Ukraine killing everyone on boardCopyri...More >>
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Few people may guess that the President of Lincoln University was born in an unknown, low-income apartment home in Columbus, Ga., but Dr. Kevin Rome's humble beginnings are the backdrop for an inspiring address he gave at Mildred Terry Library on Nov. 2, 2013.

Rome grew-up in a public housing community called Farley Homes. He was raised by a single parent, and attended several Muscogee County schools. He returned to Columbus with a message for young black students who are currently growing-up in the same environment.  

"Your situation cannot determine your opportunity," says Rome. "The more challenging your circumstance, the greater room you have to achieve success."

Rome is young for a university president, and says he was not necessarily smarter than the other kids he went to school with. He just worked harder and gained better opportunities. He was placed in classes that had high academic expectations, rather than classes with no expectations for the students at all.

"It happens very early in life that we're separated based on some exam, some decision on how it happens, but once you're trapped in that area, most likely, you never have an opportunity to rise above that situation," said Rome as the crowd responded in agreement.

Still, Rome is convinced there is no reason why anyone cannot become a successful, contributing member of society. "So many times I could have quit," he said. "Life will give you many excuses to quit. You have to have faith."

To young people, Rome advised them not to own anyone else's issues when others cannot be supportive because they are being surpassed.  "People are discouraging because of their own issues," he said.

Rome also addressed parents. He said parents need to get involved with their children's education, know what they are learning in school, and raise the expectation for their children's academic performance. He also said they need to be encouraging and supportive when children express interests and goals.

To everyone, young and old, Rome emphasized the importance working hard, and having faith that things will work out in their favor.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson was also present for the event, and presented Rome with a key to the city of Columbus. She expressed hope that stories like Rome's will no longer be the exception, but become a normal occurrence.

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.