On April 15, Jamaal Eubanks, who has been dedicated for years to inspiring change in youths’ lives and helping people of all ages find their best selves, will host a workshop based on his “Fuel or Crutch” framework at Badger Rock Neighborhood center.
His workshop, which will run for about an hour from 3-4pm is going to be about the message he has been promoting for the past several years, fuel or crutch, and is the first opportunity for the community to take part in the Fuel or Crutch.
“I’ve been talking Fuel or Crutch at different schools and even an adult rehab facility in Oregon,” Eubanks told Madison365. “There’s a lot of people in the community who support the message and have shirts, hoodies, wristbands and hats but the workshop is intended to also teach how to apply it to your life.”
Fuel or Crutch is a motto Eubanks lives by, and is trying to impart to others.
“So Fuel or Crutch, if you think about life, we all have adversity and difficult times,” Eubanks explains. “It doesn’t discriminate (against) anyone. We all experience hardships or tough times. There’s two people. Ones who use those hardships as fuel to make their lives better, and people who make a million excuses for why things have happened and don’t take responsibility.”
At the end of the day people have a choice in how they are going to come out of those situations. Either they’ll be stronger and move forward, or they’ll be held back.
“Everyone loves the message and they love it because it applies to so much,” he said. “There isn’t anything it doesn’t apply to in terms of using things for motivation to push yourself forward.”
He isn’t just preaching without experiences of his own, either. Throughout his youth, Jamaal’s father wasn’t there for him. It hurt. A lot. The absence of a strong figure like a father sent Jamaal on a rollercoaster of anger and sadness. But it also provided him the chance to make himself into something instead of spiraling downward.
“I used those experiences as fuel and it motivated me to make sure my kids would never have to experience that,” he said. “But, then again, I know people who have the same experiences I had who use excuses and aren’t there for their kids. I chose to be active and be a participant in my kids’ lives.”
He used the sadness and anger as fuel. Jamaal has spent years as the head of the Pivotal Transitions program, helping kids have things like backpacks and supplies for school. He has used things such as buying shoes for kids as a way to help combat bullying. An avid basketball fan and former college player, he has used basketball as a way of mentoring kids as well.
But Fuel or Crutch is for everyone and geared towards adults having struggles with difficult issues. Jamaal says his message goes over particularly well with the adults in the rehab facility near Oregon because they know what it’s like to both make excuses for their behavior and use the consequences of their behavior as fuel to change.
“They were truly inspired because they had to look themselves in the mirror,” he said. “If they wanted to make some changes, they were gonna have to look in the mirror and deal with stuff. When I left, people there were contacting me to get shirts and wristbands so that the could have a reminder of the message.”
Jamaal’s plan for the Fuel or Crutch workshop is to take the first 30 or so people who sign up for it and do some interactive reflecting on where they’re at and provide some messages and reminders they can rely on daily.
Anyone interested in signing up for the April 15 workshop at Badger Rock Neighborhood Center can go to eubankssolutions.com or the Facebook event and register for the workshop. The cost is $20. A t-shirt and wristband with the Fuel or Crutch mantra will be provided as well.