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Immortality Of Influence, The

by Salome Thomas-EL, Cecil Murphey
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publishing date: 01/02/2010
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780758212672
  • ISBN: 0758212674


Foreword by Will Smith

Influenced in no small part by the powerful mentors in his own youth, the award-winning educator and acclaimed author of I Choose to Stay offers a commonsense, inspiring road map to mentoring kids to thrive in today's challenging world--and creating a legacy of success for generations to come.

With over twenty years of experience helping hundreds of troubled children excel academically and personally, Salome Thomas-EL has an action plan that all of us--educators, businesspeople, volunteers, relatives, and everyday folks--can use to reach out to the young people in our lives.

By identifying the most important areas in which mentors can affect the lives of young people, Thomas-EL shows how you can be of influence in ways you may not expect. Whether you decide to provide a professional influence by exposing youth to the dynamics of the workplace, or a healthy influence by modeling participation in sports and showing how to make healthful food choices, or an influence in good character through interactions that demonstrate respect, friendship, and discipline, you'll find that the immortality of influence is achievable in every arena of life. Anything is possible when kids are given our time, taught to care for themselves and others, and led by our example--not only at home, but in the community at large. For any caring adult, this book is an essential guide to making a difference--not just for today, but forever.

Praise for I Choose to Stay

"Intensely moving...The redemptive power of a teacher's love shines through these pages with prophetic grace." --Jonathan KozolSalome Thomas-EL is a national education expert, media consultant, and former award-winning teacher and principal in Philadelphia. He has motivated thousands of parents and students to embrace the philosophy that education and hard work come before success. Thomas-EL received national acclaim as a teacher and chess coach, and his students have gone on to become National Chess Champions. He is a national board member of America's Foundation for Chess and keynotes scores of school district convocations, national and state conferences, and motivational presentations for students around the country. He has been called "An American Icon" by Reader's Digest magazine and received the distinguished Martin Luther King Award. Principal EL is a regular guest contributor on the first season of the The Dr. Oz Show and frequently appears on C-SPAN, CNN, and NPR Radio. His first book, I Choose to Stay, was optioned by Disney Films. Learn more about Salome and his students at

Cecil Murphey is the writer, co-writer, or ghostwriter of more than 100 books, including Salome Thomas-EL's I Choose to Stay; Gifted Hands, the award-winning biography of Dr. Ben Carson; and 90 Minutes in Heaven. He received the Gold Medallion award for Rebel with a Cause, the autobiography of Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham. He has twice won the Silver Angel Award for Excellence in Media.

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  • Heartfelt Journey with Chess and Extraordinary Openness
    From Amazon

    The book comes off as a corny leadership book, and to a degree it is. Every chapter is labeled as "the influence" of something, making it feel like a dictator is feeding me with too much lecture hub bub. Even some of the religious connotations are a bit much for me as he makes church sound like a necessity for everyone (p.1, 34, other). I think believing in something helps some people out of a bad situation, but when I read something like that I have to personally start believing, I have issues with this because he makes religion seem only positive, but there are negatives to consider too. My religious background is totally different than Mr. El's in that most religious people near me acted racist and unfriendly. They wanted me to believe in their beliefs, but didn't give me a reason to, so why would I want to be a part of that kind of group when I have other options and things that I could be doing that I would enjoy more? This book is also heavy on influential blacks, probably just like the first book, which I actually have not read yet. It is and autobiography, but could be considered an autobiography and biography with all the other characters mentioned. It's great to have books like this culturally speaking. You may feel as a reader that Mr. El is too positive for you. A quality educator generally stays as optimistic as possible. The optimism may seem to much and somewhat unrealistic, but it is a great model for education and appropriate for this book. He could've also been more realistic in some cases that I mention below and still have a quality book, but that would change the nature and atmosphere of the book completely. However, the personal descriptions, the way they are worded, and the articulation make it a real book and help increase it's quality to an ultimate product. If you are becoming a Philadelphian if you aren't already, like chess a lot, and/or are an educator, this book is definitely a must read despite the things I do not personally favor about some of the subject matter. Here are some more comments throughout the book: p. 60 Volunteering is encouraged in the book. I feel it's overencouraged to the point where it's emphasizing we volunteer our whole selves to others. If the whole world were like this, this would be ideal. But since there are sins that won't stop happening, we need to try to make a living and volunteer when we can outside of that. However, we can volunteer, but we should think about ourselves too unless we plan on being someone like Mother Theresa. p. 63 "Our children know they need our guidance, even if they don't acknowledge it." I do not think this quote is always true, but it's a good attitude to have in education. p.220 His idea of forgiveness is quite extreme to me. Forgiveness can be slow and probably should be depending on the circumstances and the person/people. It's hard to forgive and not always the right decision. It hurts to even consider such a thing if you're trying to forgive someone for something much more serious than if many things you did were not so serious and you weren't forgiven for doing them. p. 263 Touching story and nothing wrong with people signing agreements. "He doesn't ask what they watch or who is tehe artist or group at the top of the charts. . . "How are you treating yourself?"" p. 265 Paradise Farm Camp is also something I can relate to. I like to go to corn mazes at Cherry Crest in Paradise and New Park, not far away. Throughout the book: chess abilities seem exaggerated optimistically in at least some cases. Again, the focus in on the love of teaching and the avoidance of reality. Not everyone is as loving and giving as they should be. I always like to overanalyze things, but this helps with playing chess too. p. 276 It's ironic for me how Mr. Thomas-El asks someone to teach at Vaux Middle School as I was asked the same thing by a different teacher. For me, the way I was asked, there would have been no support for me personally at the time I was asked. The teacher gave me bad advice by telling me that I did not need to worry about documentation and he assumed that classroom management was easy for me and pretty much everyone else. He was also telling me how I needed to sign up for education programs (probably the only potential good suggestion) and try to dedicate myself specifically to Vaux. He just ranted and said things and made a commitment to me (that I can't describe because it's too personal) but did not keep his word which indicated the lack of support I would need and had pushed me away from considering the place for awhile. He didn't know me personally and just assumed things and I felt more like I'd be a slave than a team member if anything. Not everyone in the school is going to be the same way, but if the first two people you contact from the same school act similarly and you don't like it, it may not be the school for you. He focuses greatly on the students, but support for teachers and teachers getting along with students enough to get the job done could be more of a focus in the third book. p. 277 I'm surprised about how the teachers play ball at the gym. It seems it would be childish for a teacher, but at the same time it seems warming and a way to try to connect with the kids more personally. It helps that Vaux has a community gym, so that makes doing things like this less embarrassing and more important. p. 285 Will Smith gave students at Overbrook a chance to visit Africa. I never knew this. That is cool. Specific lines/events catching my attention: p. 13 A boy was "smart and extremely creative" as they saw in me [(Mr. Thomas-El)] p. 37 "If you bring the wrong kind of friends around, you are saying to your children, 'Who you associate with doesn't matter' " p. 69 Chess is "motivating for at-risk students." p. 73 A "dumb" child can now say "I'm a chess player." This reminds me of how when I was doing well playing chess earlier, students from a magnet school in Philly got yelled at even though they didn't play bad at all. The environment Mr. El provided was nothing like this- he did an extraordinary job! Chess is a "serious game and great builder of character." p. 76 Chess appeals to some people because it demands self-control. p.77 Describes Tyson's career showing that the trait of self-control is important because he went bankrupt when he shouldn't have. He chose his influences. p.229-30 "My desire is that they would move into deciding issues by principle or moral values, so that when they don't get what they want, they won't feel that we've attacked or rejected them." p. 240 "many of us have learned to give to others,but we don't know how to receive." p. 244 "You can select the influences you follow.". . .Students need to understand and can understand this no matter how old they are. p. 249 Experience describing a Drexel University student. p. 255 First Move was created recently ( to teach chess to every 2nd and 3rd grader in the nation. I had a lucky chance to try out this curriculum on a second grade class. p. 257 Priest Holmes and Hugh Douglas are excellent chess players. Trey Thomas gave glasses to kids for free that needed them.

  • Item in Excellent Condition & arrived promptly!
    From Amazon

    I was very pleased with my order for this book. Just as described, arrived quickly & very interesting book!

  • You Make a Difference
    From Amazon

    Salome Thomas-El caught the attention of many readers in his previous book I Choose to Stay. With his latest book, THE IMMORTALITY OF INFLUENCE, he shakes things up a bit. The overarching theme of the book is that each of us as individuals make a difference in the lives of those around us and that the results of our actions (or inaction) has a lasting impact on the larger world. Because of his background in the field of education and in working with inner-city youth, the book's primary focus is on how we can make a positive impact on the lives of young people, particularly African-American males. In chapter one, titled "Failed Influence," the author shares a tragic event that changed his life and how he viewed his role in the world. The incident is one that will jar the emotions of readers and leave them eager to read what the author has to say. He then outlines the importance of acknowledging your individual influence and committing to using your influence in positive ways. From there, influence is discussed in the context of a number of subject areas including: parents, discipline, grooming, the workplace, forgiveness, purpose, faith, and the community. Each chapter highlights both strengths and weaknesses, provides real life examples, and tangible suggestions. There have been countless books on the problems that exsist within the African-American community, but far fewer that actually offer tangible advice on how to address them. Salome Thomas-El has provided a realistic blueprint that parents, educators, churches, and really anyone can use to begin to address social issues that plague not only inner-cities, but American society as a whole. He is a strong advocate for personal accountability, parental involvement and discipline and he incorporates his views on these and other issues into the book while citing examples from his personal life, the lives of students he has worked with in the past, and from other books and interviews. The book has a conversational tone that is not only engaging and inspiring, but a pleasure to read. Rarely do I read a book that I would call "life changing," but THE IMMORTALITY OF INFLUENCE is one of the rare books that fall into the category. Readers may not agree with all of the author's points, and they may not incorporate all of his suggestions into their day-to-day living, but I am sure that they will touch them and make them want to become better people. My actions have an immortal influence on the lives of everyone I meet, especially the young people I encounter--now that, is something to think about. Reviewed by Stacey Seay of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers

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