Country music singer Jared Blake welcomes Chipley students back to school

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 7:55 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It’s not every day a famous country music singer shows up to welcome you to your first day of school.

“Today I’m here with a program of ours called ‘Live to Be,’” Singer/Songwriter Jared Blake said. “We’ve been going around to schools, we’ve been to over 300 schools now in the last few years talking to kids about my personal story.”

Blake, a contestant on the show ‘The Voice’ in 2011, gave a mini concert to Chipley High School students Wednesday morning.

“To get the year off to a good start, for togetherness, so that they can come together, motivational,” Superintendent of Schools Joseph Taylor said.

“We’re wanting our kids to be excited about this school year, and just help them to understand their purpose,” Principal Alicia Clemmons said.

Between songs, Blake shared his personal story of overcoming addiction, and offered words of encouragement for the students.

“It’s realizing that they have the power no matter what’s going on in their life,” Blake said. “No matter if they created the problems, no matter if they were born in to the problems. Their future is what they decide their future is.”

School officials said they hope the students not only enjoyed the first day of school concert and speaking, but that they learned from it, too.

“You can become anything that you want to be,” Clemmons said. “Don’t let anyone stop you, don’t let anything stop you.”

Blake said he hopes sharing his story with the students helps them make good decisions and pursue their goals.

“You start to realize a lot of the time the things that we think that we want aren’t really the things that we actually truly want,” Blake said. “It turns out, I think I wanted to be a dad more than anything else.”

School officials say they hope the students are even more motivated and inspired for their futures.

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