To Inspire, Challenge and Encourage
Lourdes Education student, Kendall Layson is also the pastor of Greater Glory Church. For the past several years, he has considered it his privilege to pastor his home church where he was born and raised. “My uncle Bishop Charles R. Flournoy and my granny, Assistant Pastor Loretta L. Tucker, started this ministry (formerly Rose of Sharon Holiness Church of God) in 1962, and it’s an honor to keep this 60-year mission going.”
After graduating from St. Francis de Sales High School, Kendall attended Owens Community College for a Culinary Arts degree. To fulfill his goal of becoming a teacher, he enrolled as an Adolescence to Young Adult Education major as part of the Lourdes Like Me program. “I can’t thank the program enough for offering me this opportunity to leave my footprint in the hallways of this great university.”
Influenced by a group of exceptional teachers, Kendall wants to impart that same opportunity to students today. “Seeing how those teachers intentionally gave their all was priceless to experience and witness. If I can remember my past teachers in the amazing light I do, someone else’s child can see me in the same fashion.”
Looking forward to being a member of the first graduating class of the Like Me program, Kendall is experiencing first-hand how the schedule sets up future teachers for successful careers. “The program allows me to play my part in solving the problem of the lack of males in education, especially men of color. The Like Me program allows Education majors to float through the school districts. This allows us to gain a wide scope of the various cultures within school settings. It also allows us to see where we can fit in and what skills we can add to the school and district we choose.”
ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
Kendall aims to be a social studies educator. “I love the in-depth conversations that are not only based on the class curriculum but also conversations about life and society. Students need more than textbooks. They need mind-challenging and character-evolving conversations that I believe teaching a subject as social studies offers me.”
His goal is to be “the world’s best teacher” to his students. Kendall also sees himself as a principal, so his “reach to, inspire, challenge and encourage isn’t limited to the classroom.” After graduation, Kendall envisions educating students in the classroom while continuing to lead the congregation.
Both professions, he believes, are “truly a call for one to operate in a spirit of selflessness. To be in the position where you see someone’s genesis, but through blood, sweat, and tears, you begin to see their progress is marvelous. Through all the prayers and support, it’s priceless to see how an individual can grow.”
To support the Like Me initiative, please contact Mary Sabin at firstname.lastname@example.org or community.lourdes.edu/likeme.