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Genius Watch: Demi M. of New Albany High School

 

About Lawrence

Lawrence Damon Funderburke was born on December 15, 1970 in Columbus, Ohio where he grew up, raised by his single mother Laura Funderburke, on the tough streets of the west side Sullivant Gardens projects.

Lawrence spent an abundance of his youthful days in the Boys and Girls Club of Columbus, where he gained many valuable skills both on and off the court. Back in the early 1980's as a teen, he was also afforded the opportunity to work with the local AAA-baseball affiliate to the New York Yankees, the Columbus Clippers. It was then that his drive to work in the community began. Through his exposure to baseball stardom and celebrities, he was led to realize how all opportunities need a calculated direction.

Lawrence's calculated direction led him to great heights. As a junior in high school, he led his team to a state basketball title and became the Ohio Division IV Player of the Year. He was recruited to Indiana University with a full scholarship, then transferred to Ohio State after his freshman year and enrolled as a finance major. While playing for Ohio State, he was awarded Third-team All Big Ten Conference honors all three years and, as a junior, was named Ohio State's Co-most Valuable Player, before graduating magna cum laude in 1994 with a degree in Business Finance.

Funderburke wears jersey number 51, symbolic because he was selected as the 51st draft pick by the Sacramento Kings. He played in Greece and France from 1994 to 1997, prior to joining the Sacramento Kings. Throughout his years in the NBA, Funderburke has been one of the most active players in his communities; participating in such events as NBA TeamUp, Stay in School, the Kings' Reading Challenge, and TLC Soup Kitchen Thanksgiving Dinner with the Sacremento Kings. In 2001 Funderburke received the NBA's first ever "Hometown Hero of the Month" community service award for his work with kids, established a $100,000 endowment at The Ohio State University to provide scholarships for disadvantaged youth, and was recognized by Sporting News in its "Good Guys Honor Roll."

Out of this undying commitment to the betterment of his community, The Lawrence Funderburke Youth Organization was born. In 2000, Lawrence, along with his wife Monya, created the program targeting 9-14 year-olds who want to succeed. Lawrence's vision was to use financial concepts in the investment world and apply them to kids. He urges kids to see themselves as investments that must appreciate in value to succeed.

Lawrence and his wife are very active in LFYO and continue to encourage countless youth to appreciate their value on a daily basis.

Are YOU a positive 1?

Breaking the Mode of the Zero Curse Game

In theory, a sedentary position is negative because it does not appreciate in value. If you do not strive or continue in a positive direction, others will surely pass you by. We live in a world of constant change, and those who move in the direction of continuity will obviously have an inherent advantage over converts of stationary complacency.

In the investment world, the analogy I like to use since I graduated in Business Finance from The Ohio State University, is this: If you have an investment which does not appreciate in value, but stays in a zero position, it actually decreases in value since we know that inflation steams ahead at a definite pace. If inflation increases and your investment remains constant, you will end up losing money due to the fact that inflation is taking away some of your buying power. How so, you might ask? As prices increase in relation to the rise of inflation, the invested dollar on a sedentary investment will actually buy less.

Again, an investment that does not increase in value will end up producing a negative return. You do not necessarily need money to get started in the Plus One Negative Zero campaign - what you need are critical factors that you can control - time, honesty and effort. An honestly timed effort will propel you in the right direction. Are you going to make the necessary choices to reach your goals in life? Will you invest in yourself today, tomorrow and in the future?

Oftentimes, adults come up to me and say, "Boy, I wish I had applied myself more when I was younger; I could have turned out to be this or that." The truth of the matter is this: You do not have time to make up for squandered time lost yesterday - it is gone. You can avoid this dilemma by planning on how to build on yesterday by continuing today. Do not give up! It is that simple.

In my old neighborhood, I often heard people constantly trying to plant the seeds of failure in my mind. They exclaimed, "Lawrence, you grew up in this troubled environment, and no matter what you do, you are not going to make it." If I had taken their advice, I would have never achieved the goals I set during my formative years. Furthermore, would I have had the opportunity to speak about Plus One or Negative Zero? Most likely, I might have been in a situation which caused innumerable pain and suffering to those who are concerned about my personal welfare - my family and friends.

Am I so fortunate to have come to this point in my life, while others more talented than me stumbled by the wayside? Yes, but continuing to gain the prize ahead, convinced me that I could not, would not, give in to the negative. Pursuit of my goal as a successful member of society was my number one objective growing up. Continuing in your education to the best of your ability will help you to become a productive person, not only to the world at large, but also to those who deeply love and care about you - your family, friends and your teachers.

In closing, these three principles will help you to become a better student. First of all, ask questions when you may not have fully grasped your intended area of study. Fear of your peer's reactions will cause you to avoid asking for help. Oftentimes, many of them will probably experience difficulty in understanding the very same thing you might be having trouble with. You might not know it, but you will most likely be helping them as well. Secondly, review homework and notes prior to tomorrow's assignments. When you refresh your memory on a particular subject matter, this seemingly insignificant habit will carry you down your road to success. Lastly, study ahead when you feel you have met the previous two conditions. This will certainly help you to be one step ahead. This is what life is all about!

 

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