Everyone has a dream – a dream to be a dancer, a dream to be an artist, or a dream to be anything they can fulfill in life. Some people may be apprehensive to follow their dreams due to current circumstances and believing that their dreams may be ruined because of it – not to Wayne Winsley. Now, who is Wayne Winsley? Wayne Winsley, is a former radio broadcaster, and speaker for Monster Worldwide’s Making it Count Program in 2010, where he spoke at over 200 high schools nationwide. Wayne focused on one main goal – to motivate and guide young individuals to pursue their aspirations.
While working for the Making It Count Program, Wayne realized something very crucial: educators were desperate for programs that would help more students become engaged and invested in their own education. But the schools that need it and would benefit from such programs, have no funds to put towards them. Therefore, Wayne decided to be a helping hand, and did it for a personal reason too.
At 14 years old, Wayne faced a variety of issues. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he was raised by his great grandmother until she was unable to take care of him. Eventually, Wayne was transferred into the child welfare system, became an orphan, and was also placed in Boys Town – an organization designed to nurture abused or neglected teenage boys and develop them into responsible men. During these tough times, Wayne failed the eight grade and when his second year came around, he quit attending school. He had no interest in going back for a while, leading him on a path toward prison or the cemetery.
“If you added up the days that I went to school that year without skipping any classes, it would probably add up to about two weeks,” Wayne mentioned.
There was a conversation he had overheard from a friend and his friend’s father one day. They discussed the importance of succession,“Always strive for excellence. I don’t care what you do, just be excellent at something because excellence will overcome poverty, prejudice, and adversity every time.” Because of this statement, Wayne began to change his ways and returned to school to finish what he started. That choice changed the trajectory of his life. Wayne is living proof that a positive message can transform you and your life. He has dedicated himself to delivering that message to as many young people as possible. As a result, the Brave Enough to Fail Program was born.
In 2015, Wayne launched Brave Enough to Fail (BETF) as a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit providing free motivational speeches and scholarships to high schools and high school students at no cost. This program is the first organization to combine motivational messaging, ongoing support, and financial aid in one package to help students succeed in school and beyond. For the past four years, BETF has reached over 15,000 students ranging from New York to Washington state, having scholarship winners attending a dozen different colleges and trade schools nationwide. Schools across the country are now discovering the BETF program, valuing its potential impact and requesting it for other students. 26 states have reached out to seek this program for their school districts. The demand has been expected to increase exponentially as educators are seeking tools to assist their students to re-engage after the COVID-19 closures.
“I see our organization as something similar to Amazon in 1995. It’s this thing that hasn’t been done before and many don’t understand what it is yet, but as it grows more people will realize what it is and what it’s doing and want to be a part of it,” Wayne said.
BETF has been growing and will continue to grow over time. Most recently, the educational leadership of Bridgeport, Connecticut requested the program for all high schools in the city for the upcoming school year. From the hard work Wayne has put into making this program possible, he is glad to see a positive outcome from it. Despite the obstacles he experienced, Wayne found a strategy to overcome his failures and now uses it as a major platform for his success in guiding young individuals to a better path.
After all, there is a fundamental law of success that says, “Solve a problem or fill a need.” You can do either or to fulfill someone’s dream.