When I was a freshman walking into my college dorm room in Brooklyn, I remember looking out of the window at the Empire State Building and thinking “Wow, New York City!” There I was, just a young kid from Maryland and I had made this big step in life, and of all places, to The Big Apple! There was an honor and humility associated with being a part of something bigger than myself.
I get the same humbling feeling today whenever I run into a NSBE member. Instead of the previously standard greeting, “Hey Cal”, I now receive a grand “Hello Mr. Chairman” and variations of the sort. My response is cordial and usually a soft, sheepish grin. I still remember where I came from.
It was only a number of years ago that I was considering dropping out of college because of poor grades. Sometimes I think back. What if I never joined NSBE? What if I didn’t have mentors to push me? What if I gave up? It’s simple; I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t be a college graduate nearing the completion of my second degree. I wouldn’t be in the Operations Leadership Program at UTC. I wouldn’t be National Chair of the National Society of Black Engineers. I wouldn’t be the “Cal” that members are now proud to call “Chairman”.
With honor and humility, it is a pleasure to begin serving as your 2012-2013 National Chairperson. I want you to remember that I was just like some of you. If you need an encouragement, I ask that you remember my story and know that if I could do it, then you can too. NSBE took an everyday kid and made him a part of a family. NSBE, told him he didn’t have to give up, that he could excel in his classes, graduate, be an engineer, and be a leader. That is what this family is about, helping you succeed. Don’t give up on yourself and I promise NSBE will never give up on you.
Calvin Allen Young
2012-2013 National Chairperson
National Society of Black Engineers