Using the power of the spoken word with a little saxophone mixed in, Reggie Dabbs gives a passionate performance for school kids of all ages. And he credits his success to his upbringing in East Tennessee.
With every word, every melody, Reggie Dabbs lifts up his listeners. He is one of the most popular school speakers across the country and beyond.
"On Thursday I fly to New Zealand, and then I start there next Sunday," says Reggie. "Then Tuesday through Friday is Australia and then the next Saturday, Sunday is Indonesia and then the following Monday is Malaysia on my way back to America to start schools again," says Reggie.
During his visit to Hamblen County Schools, Reggie showed exactly how he relates to the students, using his personal struggles as his platform. "My mom was pregnant and she couldn't take care of the three kids she had. And she called the teacher and said, 'I need help'. And so that teacher found my mom and moved her into her home and took care of her until I was born," says Reggie.
That teacher and her janitor husband ended up raising Reggie. "Everything was good because somebody cared. No matter what happened outside that home, when I got there even though I knew they wasn't my blood mom, blood dad, blood brothers or sisters, they loved me and they made sure we had every opportunity," says Reggie.
Knoxville is where Reggie learned to cope with hardships, where he learned to play the saxophone, a talent he uses in each of his school talks.
"Had a band director in middle school and high school, all of this stuff that makes me who I am now came from Knoxville and I am grateful for that," says Reggie.
Knoxville is where Reggie developed a love of speaking. "When I went to Fulton, I was part of the communication's class. I did the radio station for the public school," says Reggie.
But it wasn't until college that he knew he could really make a difference, thanks to encouragement from one of his professors.
"He said, 'You could be the voice to help other kids realize there is somebody there who cares'," says Reggie.
That's exactly what he does. "Sometimes it's hard to breathe. Life hurts so bad it's hard to breathe and you can't blame anybody on that, it just happens. My job is to make sure everybody just keeps on breathing cause tomorrow holds the answer to the problem they have today," says Reggie.
Reggie Dabbs, a mentor, a musician, a man making his mark among school kids across the country.
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