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Visitor shares music, message of hope

Reggie Dabbs brought hope to the freshmen at Lawton High on Tuesday, along with his down to earth humor, his superb talent with the soprano saxophone and his ability to connect with young people.

"It's about hope," said Dabbs, telling students "the phrase of the day is 'never give up.'" 

Dabbs, a motivational speaker whose mission is reaching students, visited Lawton Public Schools in 2007. Every year he speaks face-to-face with 1.5 million students in the U.S. and around the world. 

During his visit, Dabbs showed his stunning ability to connect with young people by interweaving self-deprecating humor with serious subjects such as depression along with hot licks on the saxophone and getting the audience involved. He played popular songs including Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are," and the students eagerly clapped and sang along.

A master of switching thoughts and ways of presenting information, Dabbs stopped the students singing one song and asked if anyone was having a bad day. In response to many raised hands, he started to play "Let It Go" from Disney's "Frozen" and the students wholeheartedly joined in with the words while waving their cell phones with lights on.  "Let it go, let it go ... I don't care what they are going to say ..." the crowd sang as loud as they could.

Dabbs came to speak only to the freshmen and their mentors in the high school's Ignition program, to bring a message of hope to those negotiating the new world of high school while dealing with sometimes very serious home and social issues.

The Lawton Constitution

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