Charlotte, NC– Willie E. Gary, prominent trial attorney and philanthropist addressed over 700 students at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, in an attempt to motivate them to strive for academic excellence. This was Gary’s sixth visit to the school as part of the CIAA tournament festivities. Gary visited West Charlotte to track the progress made by the student body. For the last few years, students’ test scores have increased and school attendance has seen a major improvement. Gary urged the students to remain in school and strive toward increasing the graduation rate at West Charlotte High School.
Gary was welcomed to West Charlotte High School by the school’s assistant principal Michael Felder, members of the Student Government Association and the JROTC. The school’s drum line and cheerleading squad led Gary into the auditorium where over 700 freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors eagerly awaited his arrival. Gary was accompanied by his wife, Gloria, as he addressed students, faculty and staff. He spoke to the audience about his struggle to overcome what seemed like insurmountable odds and growing up as a poor migrant worker in south Florida. He described the integral role education played in his ability to achieve success. He then challenged the students to pursue their educational goals, despite obstacles they may encounter along the way.
“All of these students have important decisions to make about their future. My intention was to motivate them to make good decisions and to believe in themselves,” said Gary. “Hopefully, my story touched the lives of these boys and girls and inspired them to finish high school and continue on to college.”
Gary, who is best known in legal circles as “The Giant Killer,” is noted for taking on some of America’s most powerful companies, winning billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients. Known for his philanthropic endeavors, he and his wife, Gloria Gary, founded The Gary Foundation, which provides college scholarships to at-risk students who wish to attend college. The Gary’s have donated millions of dollars to help Historically Black Colleges and Universities – including $10 million to their alma mater Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina.