On Saturday, November 21, 2015, Jonathan Pollard, principal of Pollard PLLC, spoke at the induction ceremony for the Broward County chapter of the Urban League’s National Achiever’s Society. The National Achiever’s Society (“NAS”) is a nationwide academic honor society run by the Urban League’s Center of Excellence. Membership in the NAS is open to students in grades 3 through 12 who have grades that are all A’s and B’s. According to the Urban League, the goal of the program is to encourage, recognize and reinforce academic achievement among minority youth.
In his speech, Pollard stressed that success would not come easy and that each of the students would have to fight for it. ““It’s going to be hard,” Pollard said. “You are going to have to outwork everybody. Because at the highest levels, everyone is smart. The differentiating factor is who wants it more; who is willing to work harder. So you must commit, right now, to being the hardest working person in the room.” But Pollard also delivered a hopeful message, telling the students,
“No matter how hard things may be right now, no matter what struggles you’re facing in your life today, please know that things can get better. Right now, you can make the choice to have a good life and you can begin taking concrete steps in that direction.”
After delivering his speech, Pollard stayed at the Mount Bethel AME Church in Fort Lauderdale for nearly an hour and a half, having one-on-one meetings with students ranging from age 7 through 17 and discussing everything from a 3rd grader’s love of science experiments to a senior’s college decisions. Pollard says that volunteering with local youth programs has been incredibly rewarding. “I love it when I meet kids who are really serious about their own success. Whether they want to do art or debate or love science, whatever it is. I meet these kids, sometimes really young kids, like 9 or 10 years old, and they have a passion for something. They want to succeed. They want to be to be the greatest. They have a certain maturity. They already have a strong work ethic and self-discipline. I’ve observed that lots of people don’t take these kids seriously. They treat them like they’re just little kids. And that’s the wrong approach. When I meet these kids, I take them very seriously. If I meet a young person who is 10 years old and fascinated by science and committed to her own education, I want to help her get to the next level. I want to help her succeed. Because kids like that aren’t always going to be kids. They’re going to grow up and be doctors and engineers and problem solvers. They’re going to grow up and run the world.”
Jonathan Pollard is the principal of Pollard PLLC, a litigation boutique that focuses on competition law. Prior to beginning his career in law, Pollard taught high school English in Baltimore City, Maryland. Since he began practicing law in Florida, Pollard has been heavily involved with efforts to help local children from low- income backgrounds. Pollard founded, coached and funded a nationally competitive speech & debate team at Boyd Anderson High School in Lauderdale Lakes, mentors several Boyd Anderson graduates, has held career workshops for foster children and has spoken at numerous local and national conferences focused on issues facing urban and low income youth. If you are a school or a youth organization and would like to invite Jonathan to speak to your students, please contact his office at 954-332-2380. If you are a teacher, student or parent and would like to learn more about the Urban League’s National Achiever’s Program, please visit the Urban League of Broward County’s website at www.ulbroward.org.