Twelve years ago this month, Leigh Anne Tuohy, her husband and her son saw Michael Oher walking alone on a Memphis street, in 30 degree weather, wearing shorts. They turned around and offered him a ride, and that was the beginning of an incredible relationship.
The real-life story plays out in the movie, "The Blind Side"'; an upscale family adopts an orphaned teen. "When Michael came to live with us, he didn't know his name, his birthdate, he had never had a bed, lived in a home, he had 26 foster homes," Tuohy told Lanier High School students Friday. "He had never been giving a Christmas gift, had never been told 'I love you' by anyone in the whole world, ever."
With the help of his new family, Oher graduated from high school and played football for Ole Miss. "I'm blessed to have all that. Other stuff going on, I came a long way," Oher said during an interview at that time.
Then, in 2009, he became the 23rd pick in the first round of the NFL draft for the Baltimore Ravens. He's now starting right tackle for the Ravens.
Tuohy told Lanier students that if they believe in themselves and ask a teacher or another trusted adult for help, doors will open for them.
She also asks all of us to keep our eyes and hearts open. "You don't have to be able to adopt a 350-pound African American child, but there is something you can do. Don't just sit there, get in the game," she says.
Tuohy's pep talk had a profound effect. Senior Kentrell Williams talked to her personally. "She was asking me about academic wise, athletic, as far as my college experience. Where would I like to go," he says, adding that he plans to study engineering in college.
Student Ladarius Smoots couldn't help but embrace her. "Her being prestigious and helping out really inspired me to help people out. I respect her for that," he says.
Tuohy now tours the country speaking to different groups, but she takes Sunday off to watch Oher play football at Ravens Stadium.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:25 AM EDT2013-05-22 13:25:33 GMT
The votes are in, and preliminary results show Chokwe Lumumba has come out on top in the Democratic Party Runoff Election against Jonathan Lee. With 100% of precincts reporting, Lumumba claims the electionMore >>
The votes are in and preliminary results show Chokwe Lumumba has come out on top in the Democratic Party Runoff Election against Jonathan Lee.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:34 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:34:41 GMT
NOTE: Photos and videos will be added to this story later in the evening. The Walthall County Sheriffs Department along with The Humane Society of the United States are in the process of raiding a puppyMore >>
Among the dogs, many are dead, and skeletal remains were mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:21:59 GMT
James Hutto interrupted his own capital murder trial Tuesday morning, angry that judge Bill Gowan decided against the admissibility of certain evidence. "None of that matters? F***. I don't give a f***More >>
James Hutto, accused of capital murder in the beating death of 81-year-old Ethel Winstead Simpson of Clinton, expressed anger over certain evidence in court Tuesday.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:15 PM EDT2013-05-21 18:15:12 GMT
The two men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's democratic primary runoff. On the WLBT 6pm report, we talkedMore >>
The two leading men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's Democratic Primary runoff.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:48:55 GMT
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday. The brunt of the action will stay northMore >>
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:35:19 GMT
The Mississippi Tea Party carried a nationwide protest of the IRS to the streets of downtown Jackson at high noon. The issue, IRS security of conservative groups like the tea party. We found some 20-25More >>
The Mississippi Tea Party carried a nationwide protest of the IRS to the streets of downtown Jackson at high noon. The issue is IRS security of conservative groups like the Tea Party. More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 11:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:48:15 GMT
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.A witness told police that the four girls, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1, had been in the same dirtyMore >>
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:35:44 GMT
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from missing to wanted during their 2012 searchMore >>
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from "missing" to "wanted" during their 2012 search following her disappearance.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:41 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:41:07 GMT
The Jackson Police Department is searching for two men who robbed a cell phone store Monday night. Shortly before 7 p.m., two male suspects entered the T-Mobile store at 4924 I-55 north. They robbedMore >>
The Jackson Police Department is searching for two men who robbed a cell phone store Monday night.More >>
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