By Deardra Shuler
There are some people whose eyes shine so bright you see they are a remarkable person. John-Leslie Brown, a.k.a. High Hopes, has enough hope in his eyes to light up the world. You tend to believe him when he tells you he is planning on changing the world by teaching people how to soar to their highest goal. A goal, he knows they can achieve once they learn the tools of how to believe in themselves. Since age 15, High Hopes has been building the foundation that has led him to his life’s mission. The son of famed motivational speaker and author Les Brown, High Hopes, himself, is an inspiration. He’s a youth, who at 23 years old, has already set out on the road to his destiny, via motivating people throughout the world through his speeches, songs, workshops, and seminars.
“HIGH HOPES is an acronym which stands for Hip hop Intellectual Going Higher Helping Other People Everywhere Soar, “stated the young motivator. “And, by soar, I mean soar over all restrictions by way of lectures, workshops, seminars, and songs. Through these methods, I plan to help people expand their vision of themselves and their capabilities,” explained High Hopes about his desire to bridge the gap between the Hip Hop generation and the Civil Rights generation. “When you have low hopes you get low results. If money is the root and purpose of every motivation in life, it doesn’t lead to very much. Youth need to be taught to strive toward a higher purpose that improves themselves and their community,” said the young intellectual about the type of higher thinking he wishes to awaken in America.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, High Hopes presently lives in California. It seems easy to say that one wishes to help and to motivate, but one has to have a strategy concerning how to go about it. “What I’ve done is focus on the areas that need to be improved. I’ve noticed for example, the Black Community needs to improve its communication skills,” commented the young entrepreneur. “Thus, I started a Teen Speakers Bureau as a strategy to teach and help young adults develop their communication skills. Also, African Americans need to improve our sense of community and team work. A lot of people don’t have a greater vision of themselves because they are not working with other people who are of the same consciousness and/or mindset. Also, we need to recognize the greatness within ourselves. We need to know that there is more to who we are and to life than just maintaining a job. There are options,” explained the young motivator.
America’s Pop driven culture often recognizes greatness via celebrities and athletes. “Inner city folk and youth sometimes view celebrities and athletes as exceptions to the rule, rather than an example of what is possible for each of us. When you are in an environment where no examples are shown but just warnings given, it’s hard to identify one’s own unique gift,” stated the youthful sage about his goal to renew people’s passions and confidence in themselves.
If the churches, media, schools, or political arenas are not reaching people, isn’t it time to look toward more positive methods of programming to enlighten people? “Positive programming and new images are needed in place of the present programming which instructs people to fail and lose faith in their abilities. Media/Internet must be utilized to provide our nation with positive reinforcement that people can hear all day long on a daily basis. That is why I started putting motivational principles in hip hop form for youth especially. There is a lot of controversy in hip hop because of its language, content or lack thereof, thus I intend to turn that around and substitute positive messages so that youth can stop hearing about killing one another and start hearing songs about developing their communities, improving themselves and loving each other,” said High Hopes. “My plan is working. I have implemented a foundation of motivational principles to shift consciousness and raise awareness. I say ask for help not because you’re weak but because you’re strong,” says the talent. Via individuals having asked for help, High Hopes was able to organize buses to Jenna, LA. Also, he encourages youth to listen and learn from other people’s experiences in order to reinvent self and avoid the tragic experiences others have suffered.
High Hopes instructs people not to get caught up in their negative internal conversations and/or the situations around them, but instead to say … anything is possible…it’s possible. “We have to stop looking at our past as something that determines our future because it’s possible to reinvent ourselves,” remarked the prose artist. “It’s possible to create a new community despite all of the terrible things that are happening today and it’s possible to attract something positive into your life.”
High Hopes has lectured to schools, entrepreneurs, universities, church groups and spoken before the NAACP, The Boys and Girls Club and Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Man Power Conference as well as done leadership seminars for UCLA.
High Hopes has worked with the organization Activities for Retarded Children specializing in expanding minds through beats and rhymes and authored 4 motivational CDs entitled “Get Up: Up Thoughts for Down Times,” “High Hopes,” “A Message to the Elders,” and “The For Real Hip Hop All Stars.” He knows the formula is to entertain through informative messages via musical prose. “One of my songs is called “New Stereotypes.” It gives a message stating this generation can formulate new stereotypes to help shift the tide.” states Hopes. “Also my song “Give Up A Way,” says never give up. It says:
…If you were going to give up…you shoulda done it a long time ago…
Look for imagination and a good mind to go…When you got high hopes, they try to
keep you low, but when you know your soul… they can’t defeat you though…
Interested parties can view http://www.mrhighhopes.com for further information.
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