Southern California Edison’s Annual Black History Month Celebration

by Xavier Higgs

Pasadena

Thirteen-year old Jaylin Miller was invited to speak at the Southern California Edison’s 12th Annual Black History Month Celebration on February 7.
She stepped onto the stage with the confidence not often seen by seasoned public speakers. Jaylin Miller, 13, was calm and convincing. She had the undivided attention of the 500 people in attendance representing business, clergy, and community leaders from the Greater Los Angeles area. It did not matter. Nor was she concerned that the program was running long. Jaylin was determined to deliver. She followed two dynamic speakers, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey (Keynote Speaker), and Faye Washington, President CEO, YWCA.
Her speech, entitled “Thank You,” was written with the help by her mother, Charlotte Butler. “I stand here today as a young African American girl, living in the greatest nation on earth,” recites Jaylin. Her five-minute speech was interrupted because of applause.
Jaylin is a student at Marshall Fundamental School in Pasadena. She is also involved with the YWCA outreach and the Tech Girls Program. Her goal is to go to college, graduate, and become an OB-GYN physician.
Her perspective on life is beyond her years. She concluded by saying, “So many people before me struggled for the freedom I enjoy today.”
Jackie Lacey, the first woman and first African-American to serve as Los Angeles County district attorney, urged the audience to keep Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream moving forward by encouraging future generations of African-Americans to pursue careers in public service.
“I have one of the most rewarding jobs in the world,” she said at SCE’s Energy Education Center in Irwindale. “I have my dream job, my dream did come true. I tell people just take that first step and there will be so many people out there to help you along the way. Sometimes what seems like the impossible is merely different.”
“We must do everything we possibly can to encourage and mentor more young African-Americans to pursue public service careers in the justice system.”
She credited SCE and its parent company, Edison International, for providing scholarships to underrepresented students across its service territory. More than 400 people attended the “Celebrating Business & Community Partnerships” themed event, which recognized the accomplishments of local African-American businesses and leaders, their contributions to economic growth and their service as education and energy-efficient champions.
Faye Washington, president and CEO of YWCA Greater Los Angeles, was the recipient of SCE’s Community Partnership Award. Jaylin Miller, was presented with a certificate of appreciation by Janet Clayton, senior vice present of Corporate Communications for SCE and Edison International.

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