By Wayne Winsley
Founder & Executive Director of Brave Enough To Fail Inc.
At age 14, I was living in an orphanage in Cleveland Ohio, had failed eighth grade the previous year, and basically given up on school. I was a poor black kid who, the experts would say, had given up on my future and was too set in my ways to be motivated to change. I was destined for one of two places, behind bars or dead.
One day, a friend of mine’s dad was disappointed with his report card and began to lecture him. Without intending to, without even realizing that I was in the room, his dad said the words that changed my life forever.
“Always strive for excellence no matter what you do. Excellence will overcome, poverty, prejudice, and adversity every time. Just be excellent at whatever you choose to do.”
That simple message motivated me to make the choice that saved my life.
I chose to go back to school and do the absolute best I could. Because of that choice, I didn’t wind up behind bars or dead. Instead I went on to serve my country honorably in the United States Navy which honed my discipline, self-confidence, and work ethic. Those tools gave me the courage to pursue my dream of being a standup comic which in turn led to a two decade career as a radio broadcaster. The communication skills I developed over that time prepared me to become what I am today, a teacher, and a multi award-winning motivational speaker
I know first hand that even without intention, a word can change a child’s life.
That is why I’ve dedicated the rest of my life to delivering a message of inspiration and motivation to as many young people as possible through my organization.
Brave Enough to Fail Inc. is a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit that provides motivational programs and scholarships to high schools.
The mission is to raise student achievement by inspiring kids with the courage to achieve their dreams and to help students see their education as a way to get what they want from life. To narrow the education achievement gap by focusing on the student end of the equation with a message of courage, hard work, self-discipline, and determination.
High schools nationwide are requesting this message for their students.
This summer we have received unsolicited requests for the Brave Enough To Fail program, for the 2017-2018 school year, from schools in over ten states. (See the list below)
Rather than saying, “No we can’t help you.” We are taking a leap of faith and committing to raising the funds needed to deliver the message to the thousands of students at these schools that, Their Dreams Are Important And Achievable!
There are other young people out there who just like I was, are one positive message away from overcoming the poverty, prejudice, and adversity that is standing between them and achieving a better life for themselves.
That is why I am asking the questions,
Is there at least one corporation in this great nation that would like their brand to be known for motivating and inspiring youth across America?
If you are that corporation, please contact us at info@BraveEnoughToFail.org
Are there fellow citizens willing to sow seeds of success into the youth of our communities?
If you are that citizen, please make a donation here.
Partial list of schools that have reached out and requested Brave Enough To Fail
Crest High School, Shelby NC.
Cathedral High School, New York NY.
Urban Assembly of Media Studies, New York NY.
Whitestone High School, Delta Junction Alaska
Sultan Sr High, Sultan Washington
Cicely Tyson High, East Orange New Jersey
St. Timothy’s School, Raleigh NC
Briar Woods High School, Ashburn VA.
Ferndale High, Johnstown PA.
Scottsburg High, Scottsburg IN.
Little Rock Arkansas School District
Martin County School District, Stuart Florida
Integrated Arts Academy, Chaska MN.
Frederick Banting School, Ottawa Ontario