HALIFAX COUNTY, Va. – As the saying goes, “being nice to someone costs nothing, but can mean everything to someone else.”
It’s a phrase that Lenzy “Victorious” Terry, of Halifax County, embodies well as he works each day to touch the hearts and inspire the minds of Halifax County youth through his nonprofit Victorious Ambition.
Created in 2014, the organization strives to do one thing: give youth in the Southside a safe space to be themselves while building them up with love and support.
From being there for kids when they need it most to hosting financial literacy classes at Wells Fargo, Terry is dedicated to showing each and every child that they matter and giving them the tools to reach their full potential.
Shavia Dixon, Terry’s cousin, says Victorious Ambition has helped her kids and others in the community.
“He has been such a positive influence in their lives,” said Dixon. “The organization has taken them on educational trips and taught them about helping the community. It helped them to exceed in school and further their education. I am truly blessed for all that he has done for my children and others in the community.”
“They need to know somebody cares,” Terry said. “A lot of these kids don’t have hope. A lot of these kids don’t have aspirations or dreams for more because they don’t think there is a reason to.”
He went on to add that, “These kids deserve so much. They deserve hope. They deserve somebody to believe in them.”
Not only that, but they deserve to just be a kid and make lasting memories, too, explained Terry. That’s why on Saturday (Nov.12) at 11:30 a.m., he’s inviting Halifax County youth to a free screening of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” at World of Sports at 2030 Bill Tuck Hwy.
Each kid will get a free bag of popcorn and a drink, and those who made A-honor role will receive a special prize.
Thanks to the outpouring of community support, Terry was able to raise more than $1,000 to ensure that Halifax County kids could take part in the fun, free of charge.
He expects 100 to 150 kids come out.
His words beamed with pride and gratitude as he explained how he couldn’t have done it without those who didn’t hesitate to pitch in.
“I call them the ‘true avengers,’ pun intended with the Black Panther,” he said. “It takes a village to do this. I could never say I did all of this. It took all of us.”
This isn’t a first for Terry either. In 2018, he was able to pay for more than 60 kids to see the original Black Panther.
Seeing everyone’s smiling faces and hearing the excited chatter of kids pumped for the long-awaited film made it a moment Terry will never forget. Afterall, that’s what it’s all about: spreading joy and camaraderie.
When asked what the event meant to him, Terry responded with one word: everything.
“It was everything because I felt a part of the movement,” he said, referring to the history that Black Panther made that year as the first Marvel Studios film with a Black director, Black lead as a superhero and predominantly Black cast.
The movie broke several box office records, earning $192 million opening weekend in U.S. and Canada and a global debut of $318 million.
In 2019, the film made history again when it won three Oscars, the first Marvel movie to do so.
Terry also spoke of the late Chadwick Boseman, who passed away unexpectedly from Stage 4 colon cancer on Aug. 28, 2020, shocking the world. He was just 43.
“Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV. A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From ‘Marshall’ to ‘Da 5 Bloods,’ August Wilson’s ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”Statement from Boseman's family
Boseman’s “Black Panther” director, Ryan Coogler, released a statement as well, saying that he wasn’t “privy to the details of his illness,” much like the rest of the world.
“I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering.”Ryan Coogler
“That right there in it of itself, his never-give-up attitude is the epitome of being a strong man, a leader,” Terry said.
For Terry, Boseman—as well as the kids he works with in his nonprofit—are a prime example of what it means to be victorious.
“Being victorious is overcoming the adversities inside your own life,” he explained. “[Asking yourself] how do you grow? How do you develop? How do you change? And change starts from within.”
You can donate to Victorious Ambition via Cash App at $VictoriousAmbition.