Dear Dr. Bledsoe, I am a brother at the University of Louisville SAAB chapter and have been a member for 4 years. The reason for me writing to you is in response to our talk we had at the conference. We spoke about graduate school, and you told me that you would be willing to help me get into graduate school no matter what, as long as I didn't waste your time. I was stressing out daily worrying about my low GRE score, and my GPA not being good enough... But since we spoke about your GRE scores and how that did not stop you, it allowed me to breathe a little easier. I would like to say thanks again for your kind words of encouragement.
Also, I would like say that your assistance will not be needed. Since we last spoke, God has blessed me with the opportunity of being accepted to several schools, 4 to be exact. I've not only been accepted to those schools, but offered a research assistance-ship at 2 of those schools and I'm currently awaiting an offer from a 3rd.
This message is in no way meant to boast about my own accomplishments, but to encourage you to continue doing what you are doing. I would just like to say thank you very much for those kind words in our brief conversation. Words cannot fully express my gratitude, thank you and SAAB for all it has done for me in my 4 years as an undergraduate. Thank you
Dr. Bledsoe, SAAB does what it is supposed to do. Help Men of Color Graduate! When I needed help you were there. Standing in the void, pulling brothers up to your level. I didn't ask for your help. I didn't even know I needed it. But you were there. I understand now why you do what you do. I hope this gives you as much gratification as it does me and my family. Regards, James Wallace, President - SAAB Northwest Indiana Chapter - Indiana University Northwest
When I think of SAAB, I think of all the opportunities that may have not been open to me otherwise and really a lot of learning experiences. I feel so blessed to be associated with and to be an integral part of the organization. It really touches my heart to know that there is something in the world that can create the same love that I would get from my family and is continuing to motivate me to be the greatest that I can possibly be. As I look back on all of my years involved with SAAB, I realize that I have traveled the country to places that I never thought I would go and it’s so amazing that at the age of 18 I can look back and say that I have traveled the country talking to people and putting on presentations and simply networking. SAAB is such a true blessing.
However there is one thing that surpasses the whole material aspect of it all and that would be the relationship that I have with our founder Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe. See the thing about “Doc” as everyone lovingly calls him, is that he takes time to really get to know you and make you important to him. But , the relationship that I have with Doc is spiritual I know God put us in each other’s lives for a reason and I couldn’t thank Doc enough for the things that he has done for me in the 4 years that I’ve known him. His brother Jerome is the same way because you can talk to Jerome about anything under the sun and he will listen and be able to give you helpful feedback and he is like an uncle to me.
Something that blew me away was at a conference when a brother came up to me and said that I was an inspiration and a part of his motivation. Then he went on to tell me that Doc talks about me around the country and then and there I just knew that I was loved. Of course Doc shows me that he does, but it didn’t really sink in until that point ---and since then it’s only gotten better. Now, I work in the SAAB National Headquarters on the campus of the University of Toledo, continue to travel and speak to people, help coordinate high school SAAB chapters as well as new middle school chapters, have a new laptop issued to me by the SAAB National Headquarters, and the list continues.
As long as I stay positive and refuse to quit then I know that I will become everything that my mother and grandmothers prayed for me to be and more. Derek Shy, The University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio January, 2009
Hello Dr. Bledsoe. Your message was powerful. Thank you again. I met you at a Visions meeting. Yes, I was Spiritually shocked by the thoughts and ideas that you shared with the group on that particular day. I felt glad throughout the entire day. Within that day I felt as if I was someone with a purpose as of just being Christopher Lee Gamble, which is myself. Today I accept whom I am becoming or whom I will become. I also accept the fact that I have to obtain an adult high school diploma. Thanks again and you have been an inspiration in my life. Christopher Gamble, Durham Tech Community College, Durham, North Carolina December, 2008