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Living the ACD experience: Words help keep dreams alive

Aaron Tommie 2Words are powerful. Although I majored in communications, my heart was always in English. I loved writing ever since I was a little kid. The power of words fascinated me.

When I attended the Brooklyn New School in New York City, I wrote a small book and even illustrated it. It’s amazing how words can create images and stories that we absorb in our minds and then our imagination makes them reality. It all begins with a thought.

When I was a kid, my twin and I mimicked everything my older brother did. Anything my older brother would do or say, my twin and I would do. The way he dressed, the corny jokes he told, his mannerisms. Everything. One of the things that I copied from him was my love of hip-hop and R&B. I grew up in the 1990s, so I can’t relate to a lot of the hip-hop and R&B played on mainstream radio today because it’s so different now. While in high school, I listened to Kanye West, Nas and Lupe Fiasco a lot. I felt the words and related to the stories in their music.

I’ve encountered memorable experiences during my four months at The Seminole Tribune. Recently, I traveled to Brighton to cover an event that featured Native American hip-hop artist Supaman, who spoke to Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School middle school students. Although it was geared toward the students, I enjoyed listening to Supaman and Native American jingle dress dancer Acosia Red Elk deliver messages about being drug-free and respectful. They stressed the importance of keeping dreams alive through focus and hard work and used their words to convey a powerful message.

Reggae legend Bob Marley has been dead for 35 years, yet his music still resonates with many people because the words are transcendent. People relate to realness.

One of the nicest, most remarkable men I’ve ever known was my college marketing professor Dr. Charles Tichenor. A U.S. Navy veteran and Duke University graduate, Dr. Tichenor received his masters from Harvard University and doctorate from the University of Bern in Switzerland. He was a successful vice president of marketing for Kraft Foods and served as chairman and CEO of Champale Sparkling Beverages.

The marketing course lasted four or five weeks. There were only four students in the course. Dr. Tichenor would always encourage us to do well and push ourselves to be the best that we could be in life. He spread so much positivity when he spoke. When we received an ‘A’ on a test, he gave us chocolate bars. One of the most powerful statements he’s ever said was that as successful as he was, we could have that same amount of success, if not more. The way he said it made me feel anything is possible. He looked each one of us in the eyes and stated that we were able to be CEOs and leaders in major companies.

I never had a professor say anything like that.

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, when I was in college, my education was primarily my secondary or tertiary focus. I wasn’t exactly the model student. My self-esteem had been low for a while because I found it very difficult to get on the right track with my education and other things in life.

When this man, who was successful in every facet of his life, told us those words, I began to believe.

In the past, plenty of people have questioned my sanity based on decisions I’ve made in life. Those decisions didn’t make sense to them, but in my heart I knew they were the best thing to do. Now, I’m doing well in my professional career so far, and I’m truly happy.

We choose to believe and accept what we feel is truth within our lives. What’s inside each and every one of us is greatness that’s tapped or untapped. It helps to be optimistic and to dream. Dreaming keeps us growing.


Aaron Tommie
Aaron has worked for the Tribe since 2015. He is inspired by people who are selfless, humble, and motivated. His family is the most important aspect of his life and is a die hard fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. He came to work for the Tribe to show his appreciation to his ancestors for the blessings Tribal citizens receive based on their foresight and the sacrifices they made. He loves mysteries and conspiracy theories and is a huge on a great story line or plot in something that is supposed to entertain him.