Richard A. Cross was born in Alexandria St. Ann, Jamaica in 1982 to parents Phillip Cross and Pauline Joyce Pennant. The burgeoning motivational speaker has a devotion that has come from years of persistence, dedication and faith. He always knew he was destined for greatness, but that greatness has taken different forms over the years leading him to his current position on his journey to prominence.
His outlook on success began while he was running track at Aabuthnott Gallimore High. He was the star of the team and received overwhelming support from the community. He wanted to become a professional track and field athlete or coach. However, when he decided to go to college many people, including his teachers, didn’t believe he was capable. Cross refused to believe that. His mother told him that he should keep knocking even if the door is closed, and he did. He kept pressing forward while remaining humble. One of his favorite quotes is that “manners will take you through the world without a penny.” In 2001 it paid off when he received the opportunity to attend G. C. Foster College.
Though Cross sometimes worried about the cost of financing his college education and the negative thoughts of others, he pressed on to complete the program and received a Teacher’s Certificate in Physical Education in 2003. Cross continued to pursue his track and field dreams through different ventures. In 2006, while working in the Jamaica Constabulary Force as a police officer, he was awarded a track and field scholarship to Lincoln University in the United States. With all the stress that comes with being an international college student, an athlete, and working multiple jobs, Cross found an outlet in writing poetry. He never saw writing as recreational, but it became a new passion for him. He went on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s degree in Sociology from Lincoln while making the Dean’s List each semester.
Although Cross had an idea of what he wanted to become, he realized that he could not achieve it alone. He needed guidance. He met Mr. Lin Appling and began reading his book Be Somebody, which is a roadmap to success. As Cross read the book, his vision for his life became clearer. It also began to evolve into more than athletics. Cross always admired successful people, thinking there must be a secret in being successful. He then realized that it all starts within. He believes that everyone can be somebody if they only believe in themselves, because possibilities are endless on this journey. His vision is to now relay that message to others, especially young men. Cross wants others to know that they can achieve their dreams despite adversities in their lives.
Cross is now on a quest to becoming the best motivational speaker. He currently conducts public speaking seminars and is a member of the Plus Factor Toastmasters Club. He published his first book The Experiences Through the Human Eyes in 2010. It is a compilation of some of his most inspiring poetry and stories of his life.
Cross is also a facilitator at the Family Court of St. Louis County doing restorative justice which is a impact crime victim class (ICVC) that educate youth who got themselves caught up in the justice system.
Currently Cross is the president of Energize Your Thoughts where his focus is to motivate, empower, inspire, challenge and educate the young minds of the future. He also, created his own collection of motivational posters that will help to share his passion to the masses.
This is my WHY…Too many times we have been told that we can’t do a thing and that is a behavior I have unlearn.
A man on a mission to do the best he possible can do.