Lucille O'Neal visits Memphis to spread message of 'hope' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Lucille O'Neal visits Memphis to spread message of 'hope'

O'Neal says someone once told her to "walk like you have a purpose". (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) O'Neal says someone once told her to "walk like you have a purpose". (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Lucille O'Neal says when she was younger someone gave her a few words of advice that stuck with her and pushed her to go far in her life.

On Saturday she shared those words with students at Hope Works, an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of crime and poverty in Memphis.

O'Neal, mother of NBA star Shaquille, says when she was younger someone told her to "walk like you have a purpose". Those words held a strong meaning in her heart, and are now the title of her new book.

"It covers a time from when I was an unwed mom till a few years ago, when I finished my college education," said O'Neal.

The author says hope was the key factor in her success. Hope Works is an organization dedicated to improving Memphis. It takes students who want to be better and gives them the tools to succeed. O'Neal says that type of help is similar to the advice she received when she was younger.

Ishmail Fason has been involved in the program for 8 months.

"It helped me to stay focused," said Fason.

Fason is participating in both the personal career development program and also the GED program and says without help from the organization, he wouldn't be where he is in life.

"I thank God for blessing me to be here. It helps you mentally, physically, emotionally. It helps you a lot," Fason added.

For more information on how you can get involved, visit: www.whyhopeworks.org/get-involved/.

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