U.S. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx made a stop at London Elementary on Friday morning before the school kicked off their career day Feb. 28.
“I am delighted to be here,” Foxx said. “You know it’s really good on the part of your teachers and counselors and the staff here to have you talking about careers. It’s never too early to think about what you might want to do.”
The congresswoman told students she grew up very poor, but the struggle helped her learn the value of hard work.
“I lived in a house with no electricity and no running water. I was just concerned pretty much about getting day-to-day things done,” she said. “When I was your age I had to carry water every afternoon from the spring into my house so we would have water for food and bathing and washing clothes.”
As a senior in high school, Foxx accepted a job from the school janitor and swept floors in the afternoon.
She did it to the best of her ability and it became her mantra as she continued to work various jobs, such as weaving, waiting tables and grading papers, to put herself through college.
Foxx challenged the young students to master reading and writing.
“Twenty-five percent of people disqualify themselves because they’re not reading at a sixth grade level and these are people who have graduated high school. You have to focus on learning to read well. Learning to read well, will help you write well.”
Foxx said another 25 percent disqualify themselves because they’ve taken drugs.
“Twenty-five percent don’t show up when they’re supposed to. They’re not dedicated. That leaves 25 percent. I want to hear that when you apply for a job, 100 percent are qualified because you read, didn’t do drugs and you showed up on time. Do that and you will be successful in whatever you do.”
The congresswoman reminded students they live in the greatest country in the world.
“Please don’t ever forget that. You are the luckiest people in the world to be born in the United States of America. When I see things going on in other countries and realize that we have all the freedoms we have, I say thank you Lord for letting me be here,” she said. “I think it’s great you’re talking about careers at a young age. You will be given many choices. Use your God-given talents to make the world a better place.”
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.