BUY THE BOOK — In today’s Buy the Book, Jenny Anchondo has a chat with Dr. Terry J. Flowers, Perot family headmaster and author of Destiny is Mine.

Here is her interview with Dr. Flowers.

Let’s talk about this book. It really encompasses a message of hope and faith for children. That encouragement to persevere I think is so needed right now. What was the inspiration behind it?

St. Philip’s has had what we call the St. Philip’s Creed for decades. The Creed embodies what we expect our students to live by, while they’re here and in their lives beyond St. Philip’s. Our students have been saying the Creed for a long time and using it as a form of development in life and goal setting goals for themselves and personal responsibility. We thought it would be great to share the Creed at a broader perspective so that children across the universe could have an opportunity to be blessed by it, not just students at St. Philip’s school.

I love that you’re expanding your reach in that way. And I should point out, it’s a creed that you wrote decades ago, what’s the idea behind the crate?

We wanted to create a statement of the outcome of what we expected our students to live by, what is it that we’re actually trying to accomplish with the students that we work with. I actually asked our teachers to come up with that statement, and I didn’t have great satisfaction with exactly what they came up with. So I penned it myself. And the rest is history.

Who is the intended audience for the book?

Children. [The book] brings together a sense of why one should work hard in school, why one should focus on trying to do their best while they’re in the classroom, and places the reader in a situation where they can draw a connection between their work and their responsibility to God, their responsibility to the community, their responsibility to the world, particularly children who may have a circumstance where there may be factors or elements that give them the hint that they may not be successful. At St. Philip’s, most of our students are African American and Hispanic, and the Creed and the Destiny is Mine book, talks about persevering despite obstacles despite circumstances, and not allowing the challenges of the world to become excuses for not succeeding.

I think what’s so special about your school too, for those who aren’t familiar is that you have this community center, as well. Talk about what St. Philip’s encompasses for those who aren’t familiar.

St. Philip’s creates the opportunity for students to draw a parallel to their work and their efforts in school to serving others. We make the statement that God placed you here for one reason and that’s to serve and how do you best serve God? Well, you do that by serving others and at St. Philip’s they can see that service and action.