On Wednesday September 25, 2019 Andrea Holmes Thompkins visited Passaic County Community College’s main campus and gave an inspiring motivational speech on success. Thompkins was a guest speaker as part of the Distinguished Lecturer series chaired by Public Speaking professor Caffie Risher who works with Professor Walter Beher, Communications and Dr. Christine Redman-Waldeyer, English.
Thompkins is a Paterson native who attended Paterson public schools and graduated from John F. Kennedy high school. As a child, Andrea dreamt of success, had a strong work ethic and at 14 years old began to work at Carlos ice cream shop. Her aspirations and dedication towards a better future led her to Howard University in 1984—after graduation she worked at channel 9 news as an assistant and made only $15,000 a year. This was only the beginning of her path to success as she clung onto these three simple words on her journey, “Dream, Believe, Achieve”. Thompkins then created and founded Andrea Communications Empire (ACE Media) which is certified as a minority-owned Women's Business Enterprise. As a result, throughout her years of personal achievement she has worked with many prominent people along the way such as former President, Barack Obama, former First Lady, Michelle Obama, Cory Booker, Wendy Williams, Oprah and many more.
Thompkins wanted to convey to the students of PCCC that “whatever your dream, believe it, achieve it” and that “success is not an option, it's a necessity.” As a fellow Patersonian she expressed how it doesn’t matter what kind of upbringing a person has had or their financial background, as long as they have passion, dedication and persistence, success is never too far away. Thompkins added that in life “Hustle outbeats talent” as long as you’ve mastered your area of expertise, no one can ever overcome you.
Thompkins went on to share her wisdom on how to achieve success, which would be to find a mentor who would give the proper guidance and to create a vision board that consists of your annual goals. Thompkins is now a committed advocate to pouring her knowledge of success into young people and is currently working on a project with James Williams, a former Mets baseball player, to bring a mental wellness center to the Paterson community. Thompkins believes that “life is about sharing your blessings, not holding them” and continues to pursue projects that bring help and success to others. The event ended with Thompkins giving out hugs to all students who attended. She believes that we all need to give good out to get good back in our lives.