Helping Students Close The Achievement Gap

Sadie New Britain 2


The Battle over how Connecticut pays for public education has been going on for years and it continues with no end in sight.

In 2016, a superior court judge ruled that the state’s funding formula was “irrational” and unconstitutional, and failed to adequately fund urban and poor school districts.

In 2018 that ruling has been overturned by the state Supreme Court. The ball has now been punted back to the politicians and advocates for them to quickly and efficiently come up with a solution to the largest achievement gap in the nation between students in the richest districts in the state and the poorest districts.

We all know that the “fix” won’t be quick and efficient and any solution at all is still years away. Which brings up some uncomfortable questions.

What about the students who are struggling in our schools right now?

How can we help all of those thousands of children who are currently in our schools and on the losing side of the educational achievement gap?

Is there anything we can do immediately to positively impact even some of these students and increase their chances of not only graduating, but of achieving positive, productive, and even profitable life outcomes?

The answer is yes.

While the grownups are trying to figure out what to do, we can empower our children with motivation and some financial help to take charge of their own destiny, seize whatever opportunities are around them and pursue their dreams.

Brave Enough To Fail Inc. is helping students begin to close the achievement gap by inspiring students with the courage to pursue their dreams and to to see their own education as a way to get what they want out of life.

Brave Enough To Fail Inc, is a 501 ( C ) 3 nonprofit that provides free motivational presentations and scholarships to schools.

We believe that by offering students a compelling reason to fully invest themselves in their own education and by providing a tangible and achievable goal, we can and will raise student achievement.

Does Brave Enough To Fail institute effective education policy? Does it ensure more highly trained and qualified teachers in the classroom? Does it remove the family and social challenges that many kids face? No, no, and no.

Brave Enough To Fail does however, provide a lifeline of support for “a number” of students in the total absence of additional help from anywhere else.

It can inspire “a number” of students to achieve better life outcomes by choosing to remain in school rather than drop out.

It can, over time, inspire and motivate “a number” of students to achieve their absolute best in school, no matter where that school happens to be.

We believe that “number” of our children is worth saving. No matter how large or how small that number is.

Local businesses are getting involved

Happily, there is a growing list of courageous companies who are Brave Enough To Fund (smile) this investment in the future of our children.  They believe our program is making a difference, and can see how it will help the future of our workforce – the future of our nation.

Preferred Utilities   has stepped forward to sponsor scholarships

Kiwanis Foundation of Greater Danbury has partnered with us to provide presentations and scholarships to as many as seven area high schools

Union Savings Bank has boldly contributed funding to provide a presentation and full set of scholarships to an area high school. 

These companies and others like them are taking action to help students close the achievement gap in their own lives by providing them with a message of motivation backed by resources.  They are sending a message to the children, “Your dreams are important enough to be invested in and pursued.”

By the way, it works.

I myself am living proof that the power of positive message can change the trajectory of a child’s life. At age 14 I made the choice to go back to school after hearing a message about striving for excellence. That choice saved my life. And I am not the only one.

When speaking about the question of whether kids are able to overcome circumstances like poverty and achieve at the highest levels, Jennifer Alexander, outgoing chief executive officer of the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now says,

The fact that there is even a discussion in here suggesting that schools can’t be expected to overcome societal ills is unacceptable in 2018.”… “We know what’s possible when kids are given the opportunity and the support. We just have to have the political will to do it for all kids.”

We agree, and we hope you will too.

Wayne Winsley Founder and Executive Director of Brave Enough To Fail Inc.




4 Guaranteed Ways to Recruit Millennials for Manufacturing Jobs



Below is an excerpt from Michael O’Donnell of The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Networkoriginally posted back in February of 2017  

Create a clear and compelling picture of advanced manufacturing.
Because most millennials are digital natives, technology is a cornerstone of their way of life. It’s essential to show young workers that today’s factories do not house traditional equipment, but instead play host to innovative tech like 3D printers, CAD software, robotics, and IoT devices. You’ll also be more likely to generate interest if you open your doors for a plant tour, participate in community outreach, and act as an ambassador for manufacturing.

Provide opportunities for growth and leadership.
Due to the 2008 recession, repeated downsizing, and other socioeconomic factors, young employees are often worried about instability in their careers. The chance to develop professionally and move up the ladder is valuable, and many will respond positively to a company if they’re given the chance to grow and upskill in CNC machining, welding, and other disciplines. Giving employees chances to lead or hash out new ideas not only helps them stay happy and engaged, but also benefits your business by giving your company new ideas to help it grow, succeed, and stay relevant in a changing world.

Offer paid internships.
Internship positions and youth apprenticeship programs are a worthwhile investment for your company. Not only are you giving students on-the-job training in a real-world environment, but you are actively grooming the next generation of employees. You will have the chance to develop a working relationship with them and, if all goes well, end up with a full-time employee that works hard, knows your business, and may be the first in a sustained pipeline of young workers.

Present flexibility and work-life balance.
As millennials get married and acquire other priorities outside of the workplace, there is more focus on maintaining a healthy balance between careers and home lives. Making this idea a linchpin in your company’s foundation will not only attract more skilled workers, but also keep your existing employees from becoming unhappy, disengaged, or looking elsewhere for new positions.

End of excerpt. Read the full article here

We’d like to add a 5th guaranteed way to recruit millennials for manufacturing jobs.

Give young workers entering the workforce a compelling personal reason to choose your company by investing in their success.

We believe that there are companies that would gladly support a motivational program that inspires and challenges students in their hometowns and that points them to possible careers in local industry and manufacturing IF they knew the program existed.

We are doing just that, and invite you to join us.

Brave Enough To Fail Inc, is a 501 ( C ) 3 nonprofit. Our mission is to raise student achievement by providing free motivational presentations and scholarships to schools nationwide, and then point those inspired and motivated young people toward rewarding careers at great companies like yours.

Contact me, Wayne Winsley, Executive Director of Brave Enough To Fail inc. to learn how your company can help develop tomorrow’s workforce today by sponsoring scholarships, materials, and school presentations.