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Good Morning Abilene !

By Sienna Miller



Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts presence graced Abilene on April 1st. She flew in as part of the Centennial Speakers Celebration at Abilene Christian University. Greeted by ACU faculty members and alumni, Roberts was brought to the campus. The people have been gracious, very gracious she says. Prior to giving her speech entitled “Putting Yourself in a Position for Good Things to Happen” given later that evening, a press conference was held in the Hilton Room of the Campus Center there at ACU. During this time, I was able to sit down and talk with her, about some of her thoughts and feelings concerning her career, family and other issues. Realizing that it is not everyday that a person of her status visits a place like Abilene, Roberts was asked about her invitation to come to ACU. I’d have to say that people were very persistent, because it’s difficult with my schedule.” Naming all of the places she had been that week, and where she’d go next , she says, ” I was really taken by the commitment and just the pride in the school.”When asked about her siblings Roberts shared with me that she is the youngest of four, with two older sisters and one brother who teaches school in Houston Texas. Doesn’t it show that I’m the baby? she says with a big smile. Both Roberts {{more}} and her sister Sally Ann are television journalists airing at the same time everyday. Sally Ann works in New Orleans. Roberts said, mother has to switch back and forth between channels in order to watch both of them. With careers and interests alike, I asked how did the two of them get interested in journalism, and who began first? “She began first, and she has always been my mentor”, says Roberts. With only 8 years difference in their age, when Roberts was young and outside on the playground, her mother called her in the house and said “Sally Ann’s on TV” Roberts says, “I was like huh? And she was doing the weather for the local station.” This is a moment that is fresh on Robert’s mind. She spoke about her sister’s influence on her to do what she is doing today. ” My sister says that when she was growing up, she saw a black woman on television in Philadelphia.” while they were traveling. Never having seen this before, “and she saw that person and was like Wow, I want to do that and it has stayed with her and she studied journalism.” Roberts’ talks about the importance of seeing different people doing different types of things. “You never know who you’re gonna reach.” She says. Adding to this Roberts mentions, “I know this woman was just doing her job that day…and she inspired my sister, who in turn inspired me to be in this business.” Truly, you never know who’s watchingRoberts is a woman who has accomplished many things and continues to do so. She spoke of her recent trip to South Africa, and what it was like being with the people there. Roberts traveled with former president Bill Clinton and his group of people who wanted to help make a difference. While on assignment they administered things like medicine, food, clothing basic things that we take for granted.I was very moved by the people that I met there, how appreciative, how they enjoy life.” She talks about being in Zimbabwe and going through a very depressed area where she meets a woman who has AIDS, and her two children are dying of AIDS. Those who she met truly made an impact on her. She talks about being overcome with emotion and stepping out of the home, so that they would not see her cry. After stepping out, she mentioned running across a group of women who are dancing near a flea market and after she approached them they began to bring her into the dance. When it was over Roberts asks, “Is it someone’s birthday, or a party?…and they say No, we’re just celebrating life!” She was humbled by the statement saying, “How powerful. I mean, do you ever see that in the U.S., people dancing and when you stop and ask them they say, Oh, It’s just life?” She later goes on to say, “It’s amazing, the people there.” Roberts gave a speech later that evening titled . When she was asked whether or not she thinks that is truly possible. Without a moment of hesitation she said, “Absolutely, you can position yourself for success! Proximity is Power.” She said that she learned that through athletics and through her father. Speaking about him, she says, “As a young man in the 1930’s he would take a broken broomstick handle, would go down in his basement and pretend it was a throttle of a plane. In the 1930’s when African Americans didn’t really have many rights in this country, he said, I’m going to fly an airplane one day.” Roberts father later became a Tuskegee Airmen. “He put himself in a powerful position”, Roberts’ comments. She mention’s that he could have just sat there and said, “Well people said I can’t do this.” Roberts said that she is a very prayerful person. “I wish, I dream, I hope, I pray and all that stuff. If you don’t put yourself in a position for these good things to happen, you’re just making it more difficult for yourself.” Roberts. Pauses for a moment and then continues to emphasize positioning and taking advantage of those opportunites. “It’s great to be spiritual, it’s great to have big dreams, but if you don’t actually do those things, those day to day things, just one thing, everyday, I mean…I work with Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer! How’d that happen?” I think we all know that it happen because Robin positioned herself for it to happen.

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