Carla Markell's story very inspiring

By Cape Gazette staff

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

Prior to listening to Mrs. Carla Markell's extraordinary account of her dramatic quest for self-empowerment, I sensed that we shared common ideals and values. Five minutes into her riveting speech, I was certain this was true.

Delaware's first lady quickly convinced me and the entire audience that mentoring and self-empowerment can, indeed, transform lives. The July 2 event held in the Cape Henlopen High School auditorium in Lewes was billed as A Free Seminar to Help You ROCK YOUR LIFE! As I sat in the front row listening intently, I soon realized that this was that rare moment when gaudy advertising and sublime, life-altering reality would meet. Markell's message had a powerful impact on my life.

Her story was a heart-wrenching tale of overcoming challenges, facing fears and making good choices. She bravely opened up about her family life, exposing the burdensome baggage of drug addiction, mental illness and neglect. Both her parents were alcoholics. Countless relatives used hard drugs. Her mother suffered from depression. But Markell wasn't looking for pity. She expertly utilized these painful facts of her life to teach the audience a lesson on perseverance. Through her trials and tribulations, Markell learned at a young age that you may not be able to control many things in life, but you can control how you react to those things. Simply put, the obstacles we face in our lives can either halt our growth and development or force us to rise to heights we never imagined possible.

In a world of death and despair, we need more advocates like Delaware's first lady. The journey to self-empowerment, self-actualization and beyond is not one to be taken without the aid of others. Markell credits groups like Al-Anon and a powerful, positive inner circle of friends she consciously and carefully chose with assisting her along the path.

Imagine how empowering her story could be to countless teens who daily feel the crush of life's burdens. Bullying. Drug addiction. Depression. Suicide. Pregnancy. Poverty. Abuse. Neglect. Peer pressure. Violence. The list is extensive and the solutions far too few. Markell understands these challenges and can readily relate to those who are struggling to overcome them. She's been there, and can speak to these issues in a way that few others can. This, she found, is her calling. Describing mentoring as a lifelong commitment, Markell made it clear that we all have work to do. Our nation and world is crying out for more recruits and volunteers. More soldiers on the frontlines who know and believe that mentoring and self-empowerment can transform lives.

Manuel Davis Milton

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