MEMPHIS — There’s no other way to put it.
Michael Scruggs has gone viral for all the right reasons.
A longtime Memphis-area educator, Scruggs’ inspiring story that is centered largely on his pre-teaching ritual in which he jogs around his classroom chanting “I Am Number One” as his students look on in stunned amazement has appropriately caught the nation by storm.
So much, in fact, that Scruggs has witnessed his celebrity — most notably in the spirit realm — heighten immensely in recent months.
As he tells it, it is a foregone conclusion that God undoubtedly is behind all of the proverbial “I Am Number One” hoopla.
“The most special thing about the national attention has been getting the validation for the work I’ve been doing behind the scenes for years,” Scruggs told Making Headline News this week. “Also, seeing my former students really being impacted by all of this has been a blessing.”
What’s even more remarkable for Scruggs is that his business-related venture outside of the classroom is starting to take shape in ways unimaginable.
Scruggs is an accomplished life coach/motivational speaker, a business-related endeavor he established in 2007.
A Memphis Central High School alum who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the University of Memphis and a Master’s degree in Education from Union University, Scruggs’ business involves mostly mentoring and giving back to young people, a trend that greatly fueled his desire to delve off into education and eventually become a teacher.
“From there, I started mentoring my former students by taking them out into the community,” Scruggs said of the purpose for which God created him to assemble his business venture. “People enjoyed listening to me speak and then I began doing motivational speaking.”
For what it’s worth, Scruggs’ customary classroom mantra, by all accounts, has been something about which his current and former students have prayed would ultimately find its way onto a much larger platform.
To his distinctly unique credit, those intercessory prayers on Scruggs’ behalf have finally been answered.
“When I hear that a lot of them have prayed that I would be recognized nationally really has blown my mind,” Scruggs said. “They all recite, ‘I Am Number One,’ I have everything it takes to be No. 1.”
Fortunately for Scruggs, it’s safe to assume that America essentially has rallied around and embraced what obviously is becoming a catchphrase for the ages.
In addition to generating an array of headlines that were accompanied by footage of Scruggs running around his classroom uttering his festive, jubilant “I Am Number One” chant, this licensed ordained minister was recently invited to appear The Ellen DeGeneres Show to share of his feel good story, one that has drawn a massive figurative applause by millions around the country.
“It has opened up so many doors for me and I’m still humbled by all of the national attention,” Scruggs said of having appeared on a national talk show. “Favor will do what your money can’t do.”
Interesting enough, Memphis, a city that has been crippled by a poor economic landscape and a continuous rise in crime, has rallied around to offer support for one of its own.
MORE ON MICHAEL SCRUGGS: www.themichaelscruggs.com
“It’s been great to shine a positive light on Memphis, given all of the negative attention Memphis receives,” Scruggs said. “Memphis is a great place with some awesome young people.”
A longtime member of the historic Temple of Deliverance Church of God In Christ, Scruggs credits the late Bishop G. E. Patterson, his wife, Louise Patterson, Bishop T. D. Jakes, Oprah Winfrey, his mother, his cousin, Juan, his former students, former Memphis Mayor W. W. Herenton, Dr. Steve Perry, Bobby White and Ed Stanton, his former college professor Dr. Ken Brown, and a host of former teachers for having a monumental impact on his life, thus helping empowering him for a time such as now.
“What’s next for me is to continue to allow the Lord to order my steps and impact youth in a bigger way,” said Scruggs, who’s also putting the finishing touches on his book.
In addition, Scruggs said plans are in the works to erect a youth center that would allow him to continue his motivational speaking and, most of all, continue to enhance his beloved “I am Number One” movement, one that to his credit, has caught the attention of virtually the entire country.
Talk about living the American dream.
“My goal and passion is to see the lives of young people changed for the better,” Scruggs said. “Having this call means to become selfless. I would have never thought a young man from south Memphis, raised in a single parent household, would ever be on national TV. If God did it for me, He can do it for anybody.”
There’s no other way to put it.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.
Andre Johnson is Founder and Publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and former reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson is the former chief adjutant to Elder Andrew Jackson, Sr. of Faith Temple Ministries Church of God In Christ. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to email@example.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.