Prominent Trial Attorney, Willie Gary Shares Words of Encouragement and Challenges Students to Strive for Academic Excellence
Willie E. Gary, prominent trial attorney and philanthropist addressed over 700 students at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, in an attempt to motivate them to strive for academic excellence. This was Gary's third consecutive visit to the school as part of the CIAA tournament festivities. Gary visited West Charlotte to track the progress made by the student body.
Gary was welcomed to West Charlotte High School by Principal John Modest and members of the JROTC. The school's drum line led Gary into the auditorium where over 700 students eagerly awaited his arrival. He was accompanied by his wife, Gloria as he addressed students and faculty. Gary spoke to the audience about his struggles growing up as a poor migrant worker and the integral role education played in his success. He challenged the children to pursue their educational goals, despite obstacles.
Two students at West Charlotte High School gave an update on the school's progress since Gary's visit in 2008, highlighting the significant strides the school has made over the past year. Gary and Principal John Modest recognized students from West Charlotte who have been accepted at Shaw University in fall 2009.
"All of these students have important decisions to make about their future. My intention was to motivate them to make good decisions and to believe in themselves," said Gary. "Hopefully, my story touched the lives of these boys and girls and inspired them to finish high school and continue on to college."
Gary, who is best known in legal circles as "The Giant Killer," is noted for taking on some of America's most powerful companies, winning billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients. Known for his philanthropic endeavors, he and his wife, Gloria Gary, founded The Gary Foundation, which provides college scholarships to at-risk students who wish to attend college. The Gary's have donated millions of dollars to help Historically Black Colleges and Universities – including $10 million to their alma mater Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina.