By Ruth Ferguson, NDG Editor
Positivity, perseverance are key traits to the success of Paul Lamar Hunter who is scheduled to receive the 2015 Breakthrough Award at the 1st Annual Equanimity Awards Benefit Gala hosted by CNN’s Joe Sutton and Teen Celebrity Journalist Pavlina Osta at the Westin DFW Hotel in Irving.
“As a young child I was told I would never amount to anything,” Hunter shared. However, he did not let that hold him back, instead he began to frame his vision for success.
“I begin to live the dream and I saw myself as a person contributing to society. Now, I am living the dream.”
Born in Racine, Wisconsin, Hunter is the 19th child out of 21 children and the first child to graduate from college. Hunter received his Bachelor of Science in Business from Upper Iowa University. He is the CEO of his own company, Paul Lamar Hunter LLC.
When you visit Hunter’s website, watch the videos and read earlier features one thing is clear: he had an unusual childhood. Not only was he the 19th of 21 children to the same parents, but instead of pushing him to strive for a better life, his mother took no interest in his education. Not even taking the time to attend his college graduation, which as the first one in the history of the family it was a certainly a big achievement. Hunter loves his mother, and has forgiven her, but certainly was motivated to try a different approach as a parent.
“When I started to have children; I always wanted to be there for my children,” according to Hunter. As a child he watched as “the responsibility of parenting fell on the shoulders of my older siblings,” while his mother devoted her life to a homeless shelter she created. From there he made a commitment to give back and share his personal story, which he has done in his book No Love, No Charity with plans for a movie.
Hunter believes he can make a difference for a child today who is afraid they will never be anybody special. Hunter wants to encourage them to know they hold the key to their success.
His greatest teachers were the residents of his mother’s homeless shelter. Over the years he met doctors, professors and other professionals that had one common thread: addiction. But they also had a common message for young Hunter: get an education. They would often ask him, “Do you picture yourself as a successful human being?” From there he began to focus on setting goals for himself, seeing himself achieving those dreams – then taking action to make the dreams a reality.
For example, he set the goal of being in Ebony magazine, it took two years, but he achieved that lofty goal. Right now two of his goals include: visiting President Barack Obama at the White House and appearing on one of Oprah’s OWN shows.
For success in life Hunter believes a person must have three key attributes:
- A can do mentality – no matter what is going on you must believe you can achieve;
- A spirit of perseverance – it is tough out there and there will be nights you will hit your head against a wall, but you have to push on;
- A persistently positive attitude – “I am still on this journey; people has abandoned me on this journey, but I am still living the dream,” Hunter confirmed
As Hunter prepares to accept the award this weekend, he shared, “2015 has been a successful year for me and now I am getting prepared for 2016. I see big things opening up for me. I believe God has some big plans for me.”