"My mother would write on notepads, she loved to write on pads, so I always saw her writing herself out of situations or writing herself into situations, and I understood writing as a cathartic process and a way to sift through the emotions. I felt like my mother would be writing herself into the future sometimes, so I understood that by writing I could create, go to places that have never been chartered.
"Along with writing, my mother taught me where to situate my talents. In tenth grade, the football coach asked me to be the water girl for the team, and I was excited because I felt like a teacher finally recognized me and what I could do. I told my mom after school that day, and she said 'you are nobody's water girl.' And it caught me way off guard because I thought it was an achievement. But she was teaching me not to think small, not to think of myself as a water girl, but rather reach further and actually be the coach of the team."
— Sharrell Luckett, assistant professor of theatre and performance studies at Muhlenberg College, addresses Penn State Altoona as keynote speaker during the annual African American Read-In held Feb. 13 on campus.