The speaker asked the group to take a message of hope and motivation back to their families.
HOWLAND -- Joetta Clark Diggs, a four-time Olympian and businesswoman, encouraged area residents to do what Martin Luther King Jr. did -- dream.
"Our society needs you to dream and help others to make their dreams a reality," Diggs said Monday at a breakfast at the Avalon Inn sponsored by the Trumbull County Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Team.
Diggs said those in attendance should take a message of hope and motivation back to their families. She was part of a daylong program sponsored by the Trumbull County group.
She ran in the 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics and is considered by track enthusiasts as one of the most proliferate 800-meter runners of all time. She is president of Joetta Sports & amp; Beyond. She gives motivational speeches and has been a marketing consultant with companies such as Footlocker and Nike.
Remembering message: Diggs developed an acronym to help people remember her message.
"D" stands for dedication.
"We have to have passion for something," she said.
With dedication, people can overcome any difficulties, she said.
"R" is for respect.
This includes respecting others and respecting yourself in the way you dress and speak, she said. People must believe in themselves or they won't be able to give respect to others, she said.
"E" represents education.
People must increase their knowledge of their chosen field so that they are an expert, she said.
"You will be so qualified that people will seek you out," she said.
"A" is for needing a good attitude.
Bad attitudes bring about bad results, she said. The key is to not hang around with people who are negative, she said.
"M" stands for motivation.
She said she has been motivated by not wanting to embarrass herself or her family.