Gardner recounted his stories from being a child of a single mother to growing up and surviving the struggles of fatherhood and joblessness, peppering within them important lessons of life and adversity. Ultimately, his key message was a resounding “You can do it too.”
“I am very grateful for this experience to be able to watch someone of such esteem talk to us about his life. He was very funny and engaging!” said Delilah, 16. “I like what he said about spiritual genetics – that we have the power to change our spirit. We can break out of cycles of hardship through the power of choice.”
Messages and encounters like this can go a long way.
16-year-old Justin from the foundation was inspired to learn from Gardner’s lessons. “Mr. Chris Gardner is a very inspiring man with a touching story. I like how he was so truthful and genuine with us – as if he really wants to help people with his story. I relate to his story on many levels. Maybe in the future my own stories can help people too.”
Gardner with students from the Dignity for Children Foundation and representatives from local NGOs. Photo: World Bank
This was not the first time that the Dignity for Children Foundation visited the World Bank in Malaysia. Just a few months ago, the students had attended a get-to-know session with World Bank employees, where they got to learn about the Malaysia Hub and its impacts on the community and goal to end extreme poverty. The students also received a class on CV-drafting to prepare them for future job opportunities.
And only recently, internship opportunities at the Hub were offered to two deserving students from the foundation to gain work exposure for the next three months of their school holidays. The Hub in Malaysia has begun reaching out to the Dignity for Children Foundation this year by providing them opportunities to network, learn and grow. The talk by Chris Gardner was one such event aimed at providing new and exciting experiences to the students, with the hope that they will be inspired to aim for a good future – beyond what they can ever imagine.