In 2018, a young man named Martin received the Courage Award from the Corey C. Griffin Foundation at the Boston Winter Ball. Now, we're excited to share that due to his own hard work, Martin has received a scholarship to Bentley University, where he will begin as a freshman in the fall. Martin was nominated for the award by our program partner, Ron Burton Training Center, where he has challenged himself for the past several years on an amazing journey of personal growth and academic excellence. Congratulations Martin!
To celebrate Martin and his accomplishments, we'd like to share a portion of his acceptance speech that he delivered at the February 2018 Boston Winter Ball.
They say life is all about timing and opportunity.
I came to know the Ron Burton Training Village (RBTV) in 2014, and it couldn’t have come at a more critical time in my life. You see, my life is a true blessing, but one that has been filled with all types of storms and adversity. RBTV has helped me keep an arms distance away to avoid those traps and keep my head on my shoulders and guide me.
During one of the lessons there, I heard a message of how it’s important in life to be a sponge and not a rock. That message hit me deeply, and I took it seriously. The meaning of the message was to take in as much wisdom and knowledge and opportunity being offered at RBTV and not harden my heart to it. Dr. Burton put a sponge on top of a bucket of water and I saw how it floated. And then he put a rock in the same bucket and I watched how it sank. The image was clear. Be a great listener and grab hold of opportunities and soar. That really meant a lot to me.
Over the years, we’ve had many great speakers — business leaders, athletes, government officials — come in and share their unique experiences and struggles, and I have gained a lot of wisdom and insight from them. Their intuition and advice have made my life better.
RBTV's mission is the development of the whole child through the pillars of love, peace, patience, and humility. Throughout the years we focus on leadership and character, academics, faith, and physical fitness. This past summer, I got stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually. For those of you who don’t know, at RBTV we also run seven miles a day, every day. When I first arrived, the seven miles were simply brutal. Now when I run it, I find a lot of peace. I think about my life when I am out there on the dirt trails and rocks in the woods. I think about my life after RBTV and what I want to maybe do with my life.
At RBTV, we also have an incredible STEM Aviation program that has really caught my attention. This aviation program has helped me think about becoming a pilot or engineer and being able to fly and soar thousands of feet above the ground. Through RBTV, I learned to develop a new hunger for life and opportunity. I attacked this past school year with new hope. I am happy to report that I just made high honor roll in my school, I play varsity football, run track and have committed myself to community service and have been a mentor to my younger brother.
I want to thank the Griffin family and the Corey C. Griffin Foundation for your love and support of RBTV. Mr. Griffin has spoken to us many times over the years during our monthly "Legacy of Love" series in Boston and at RBTV during the summer. Your faith in God during your family’s storms of life has served as an inspiration to us young men trying to find our way through life. We greatly appreciate all your support.
Thanks to the Boston Winter Ball for this award. It inspires me to work even harder. To my mother, I want to thank you for playing a critical role in my life. Without you, I don’t know where I would be. I love you. To all the supporters of this Boston Winter Ball, thank you for investing and making a huge impact on my life.