Name: Ahmad Roper
Profession: Educator, Head Track & Field Coach, Speaker, and Community Activist
One Word That Describes You: Human
How HE Ordinarily Impacts: Ahmad Roper’s mission to celebrate black male achievement through education, scholarship, and faith empowers and prepares Houston’s youth to build better communities and transform into better men.
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
I am very humbled and grateful to be a part of the BE Modern Man Men of Distinction list. I feel that all of my hard work and dedication is making a difference and positive impact in my community. To be honored with a number of outstanding back men who are excelling in their respective careers and in the community is truly humbling. Thank you.
What are you doing as a BEMM to help support black male achievement now or in the future?
I am supporting black male achievement through my nonprofit Houston Village Foundation, mentorship, education programs, and scholarships. One of the things I love to do is invest in our youth. I strive to help empower all people through my actions. The late great Tupac Shakur once said, “I guarantee I will spark the brain that will change the world.” I believe it’s our job to give back the knowledge that we have obtained.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
As the son of single black mother that struggled, I defeated all odds. I transferred schools every year throughout my early education days, moved from one bad apartment complex to another. God blessed me with the tools of being very athletic and smart to overcome my obstacles in life. Obtaining my bachelor’s and master’s degrees were a huge accomplishment for me. I believe success is not defined by how much money you make, but by the road you travel to get there and by not quitting.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
Being reliable is an important foundation in all relationships. Relationships are built on trust; without them, they wither and die. Being reliable builds that trust.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
Some of the projects I have going on with my nonprofit are the Annual Teen Summit, Girls Book Club, Community S.T.E.M Day, and our annual scholarship banquet.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Make decisions that align with God’s will.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
My advice to men that want to make a difference is to follow my pyramid. A pyramid has levels to it starting with prayer at the bottom for your foundation:
Pray – Always ask God for guidance in any undertaking and be very specific on what you want to do.
Patience – Have patience. Sometimes we pray for things and expect God to give us an immediate response. When the time is right it will be revealed.
Purpose – Figure out your “why.” Your heart will always tell you what’s your true purpose and passion.
Passion – It’s easy to go after something in life when you’re passionate about it. You feel unstoppable because you’ve figured out your purpose.
Plan – Have a plan together and surround yourself with like-minded individuals that can help you accomplish your goals.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
I research the topics through social media, YouTube videos, etc. I educate myself on the topics and issues so I can feel confident and knowledgeable about the topics during meetings and events.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
I make it my goal to travel out of the county and visit new places the world has to offer. Visiting other countries make you more humble and appreciate life. In America we have options compared to other people and can take it for granted.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I would like to travel to Egypt and discover the various wonders that archeologists and Egyptologists discovered about the country’s ancient cultures.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.
Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the first-ever Black Men XCEL Summit, Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.