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August 6th, 2010
12:50 PM ET

Mission Possible: "Honored and Humbled"

It's not easy out there. Joblessness. Sickness. Poverty. War. You name it. You turn on the TV and you see it – especially when you turn on the news. It's hard to avoid it. No matter what city or what country you live in. So our small team here on the Ali Velshi Show wanted to take a little piece of our television real estate and devote it to people you may otherwise never meet who in small ways are doing great things. People who are doing things that you could do in your community to affect change. Things we believe are scalable. We call it Mission Possible.  I'm going to try to write a little about these people each day. Today, we met Deonte Bridges. He is the first black, male valedictorian at Booker T Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia in 10 years. Deonte caught our attention because his small speech caught some big attention and now is a You Tube sensation. (You can see it for yourself below). Deonte's mother is dying of leukemia. Deonte's brother died. He's survived an armed robbery. He lives in a tough neighborhood during tough times.

Deonte didn't tell people his story though because he didn't want people to feel sorry for him. He graduated with a 3.9 GPA and is now the recipient of scholarships totaling over one million dollars. That's all I really need to write here though because Deonte tells his story best, right here in his own words:

Deonte Bridges\' Speech

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August 6th, 2010
12:27 PM ET
August 6th, 2010
11:57 AM ET

"If Lance Cheated, Can That Be a Good Thing?"

From CNN Saturday and Sunday Morning Anchor TJ Holmes:

Quick, name 3 professional cyclists.

OK … you got Lance Armstrong.

Chances are … you can't come up a second one, much less a third. The only reason you know anything about cycling is because of Lance Armstrong.

We don't care about cycling in this country. Some people may get offended by that, but relatively speaking, we love football, baseball, and basketball in this country with a side serving of hockey, golf, and tennis.

But you know about Lance Armstrong because of his accomplishments in winning 7 Tours de France, because of his compelling personal story of beating testicular cancer, and because of his efforts in raising hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research.

We know Lance Armstrong. But, do you want to know whether or not he was doping/cheating to win all those Tours?

The New York Times reported today that federal investigators have collected information from former teammates and associates of Armstrong's that say Armstrong and his team participated in systematic doping. This is in addition to similar claims made publicly earlier this year by his former teammate Floyd Landis, who lost his tour title in 2006 because of doping. Armstrong has faced allegations before and has always strongly denied he ever doped and nothing has ever been proven.

We are used to sports heroes falling in doping scandals. Go down the list: Mark McGwire, Marion Jones, A-Rod, it goes on and on. Their cheating benefited one person: the person cheating. IF Armstrong cheated, some are now arguing, his cheating would have benefited others.

Cheating is never a good thing ... you should never do it ... let's make that clear. We certainly hope Armstrong is and always has been clean.

But think about this: What if he did cheat? You could argue that if he didn't cheat, he wouldn't have been able to win the Tours. If he didn't win, he wouldn't have been able to draw all that public attention. Without the public attention, he wouldn't have been able to raise $325 million dollars through his foundation for cancer research.

Should someone get a pass for their bad deeds because they also did good needs? Let's hope we're not faced with that choice when it comes to Lance Armstrong.

Join TJ Holmes weekend mornings in the CNN Newsroom, beginning 6am ET/ 3am PT.

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