Houma native Corey Harris believes that deep down, there is greatness in us all — sometimes, it just takes a little soul searching to find where within us it is.
And for close to a decade now, he’s dedicated countless hours of his time in an effort to prove to locals that they can do amazing things if they keep a positive mindset, work hard and channel positive energy — even at times when it seems like life isn’t on their side.
Harris is a well-known local motivational speaker, author and role model in the community. He’s been speaking at events for more than 8 years around the area and his words have literally impacted the lives of thousands of people in the Houma-Thibodaux area and beyond.
Harris said his path to motivational speaking is paved with the purest intentions. He said he saw a need locally and made a decision to address it in the only way he knew how: through his words of love and support for others.
“I saw that there were too many kids that were not aware of the fact that they could do great and amazing things if they would decide to change their mindsets,” Harris said. “I’ve always been very blessed to have a great support system and I understand the tremendous value of having a great support system. I wanted to be a blessing and a source of support to others and those who didn’t have strong support systems. For me, I was more concerned with making a difference, instead of making excuses.”
Harris is a go-getter.
“I plan to continuously impact humanity in great ways by pouring out useful and empowering content,” Harris said. “I also plan to speak to businesses and create empowerment programs (in the future).”
He has single-handedly put together several events in the community aimed to inspire the area’s youth.
He’s hosted more than two-dozen empowerment and anti-bullying events in the Houma area. At those events, Harris, himself, speaks, but he also works diligently to book other guests and speakers, as well.
Former WWL-TV news anchor Sally Ann Roberts was a previous guest at one of Harris’ empowerment events. Others have featured DJ Juice, Traci Brown, Judge Juan Pickett, local choirs, dance groups and others.
The events are always free to the public. Some are more well-attended than others — sometimes generating hundreds of kids — but Harris said that’s of no matter. If just one child leaves the event with his/her life positively impacted, then the work for the day is a 100 percent success story.
He said he’s had hundreds of adults and children thank him over the past several years for spreading his positive message throughout the community.
“I always get great feedback,” Harris said. “People tell me to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m often reminded by adults in the community that what I’m doing is needed. I’ve received several recognition awards from multiple organizations in the community letting me know that they appreciate the great work I’m doing. And many kids personally thank me for the messages that I deliver. The publicity is great. It feels good when folks tell me that they saw me in the newspaper.”
Harris said his work takes time, effort and energy, adding that planning an event can almost become consuming — swallowing up every inch of free time he has.
When asked where he continues to find the motivation to keep going, he said that’s easy — the people. Harris said he knows that the world will forever remain challenged and troubled and that there will always be people who are in need of a pat on the back of a pick-me-up. Knowing that, Harris said, is what continually gets him out of bed in the morning with fire and energy to keep chipping away at the negative forces in the world.
“Several things keep me motivated — my family, my faith, the high bar that I set for myself and motivational videos are a few of those things,” Harris said. “But also this: I know that there’s always someone out there who is allowing their circumstances or another person to limit them and what they can do. Knowing that keeps me going.”
In the future, Harris said he plans to keep going strong with no let up in sight.
He’s booked to give speeches at Houma Jr. High School, Oaklawn Jr. High School and the Terrebonne Parish Juvenile Justice Complex in the coming weeks.
He said he’s also exploring other empowerment and anti-bullying events, while continuing to write.
Harris is a published author. He published ‘Poetic Pleasures and Treasures’ a few years ago — a collection of his thoughts via poetry.
Harris said he always strives to outdo himself and push the bar higher, knowing that as he does so, he’s helping more and more kids.
By doing so, he’s also making the future of our community better — the larger goal.
“I plan to continuously impact humanity in great ways by pouring out useful and empowering content,” Harris said. “I also plan to speak to businesses and create empowerment programs (in the future).” •