Guest speaker reaches males


Photo by Brandon Hamilton

“The Apprentice” winner Randal Pinkett says excellence comes from within, not from others.

Mason Owens, Reporter

A winner of “The Apprentice” encouraged AACC students on Thursday to merge their passions with their talents to achieve excellence in their careers and their lives.

In a speech titled “One Game, Two Rules and One Choice Demonstrates Excellence,” Dr. Randal Pinkett, an entrepreneur and the CEO of a management consulting firm, told a predominantly African-American audience that there are two sets of rules in life: one for blacks and one for others.

“It’s not enough today to just work hard, you have to also work smart,” he said in a speech that was a part of AACC’s Black History Month observance.

Pinkett told a story about his experience with President Donald Trump, during Season 4 of “The Apprentice.” Trump asked him to share the winning title with a white woman, he said. Pinkett declined.

“American society tells us that we’ll be rewarded for being the best, for being among the best, and when we are among the best, another set of rules seems to emerge, a set of rules based on nepotism, cronyism, racism and any other ‘ism’ that you might throw into the mix,” he said.

He said that didn’t stop him on his quest for excellence.
Instead, he realized that excellence comes from within and not from outside influences.

“Excellence is not a solution to racism, but rather is among the best counter-strategies.” He added, “Excellence is doing your very best, regardless of the nature of the task and regardless of whether people are watching.”

The audience reacted by clapping and shouting numerous “Amens.”

“Very informative, very empowering and very motivational,” sophomore Aman Beckett, a cybersecurity major, said. “It touched on everything that every young man that wants to be successful needs to know.”

“Delivered a great speech,” junior Anthony Hunter, a cybersecurity and informational services major, agreed.