Write a Short Story & Win Long Green $




Follow your passion for Writing, support a Charity that inspires Kids AND win $1,000!

The Brave Enough To Write short story contest has two age categories and two prizes.

17 years and under prize is $500.

18 years and over prize is $1,000.

All funds raised by this contest will go toward the prizes, and to provide free motivational programs and scholarships to in-need schools.

Also the winners in addition to getting the prize money, will have their story and accomplishment promoted to the youth we serve and the general public, as an example of what can happen when you have the courage to go after your dreams.


Contest Rules :

  •  Online Submissions only
  • All stories must be previously unpublished in
  • Submission fee $20.00 US
  • Max word count: 10,000.
  • All readings are blind
  • Each story must be accompanied by a cover sheet that includes the writer’s name, age, the title of the story, his or her complete mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, and the word count of the work submitted.


  • The title page and story must be submitted as one document, as an attachment. The author’s name should not appear on the story. Only the title of the story should appear on the manuscript.


  • Writers may submit multiple entries, but these must be submitted as separate Microsoft Word documents, or PDFs with separate cover sheets and separate entry fees.


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The Road To Success is a Toll Road



The Great White Shark is the most feared predator on the planet. It relentlessly prowls the waters, hunting where it will and in fear of nothing for it has no natural challenger save the Orca.

However, to be successful, the great white shark must do one thing. It must keep moving forward at all times. If this particular shark stands still, it becomes just another drowned carcass swallowed up by the vast ocean and fed upon by others.

Successful people across the board share this shark-like trait. They keep moving forward, they are diligent, they don’t give up and they work as hard and as long as necessary to reach their goal. they learn from their failures but they don’t live in them. They refuse to drown in mediocrity.

Everyone wants to be successful, and if it were easy, everyone would be. But it’s not easy and therefore, too many are not.

Life will inevitably throw obstacles in path, adversity will strike and circumstance will conspire against you.

Look around you, there are plenty of talented and gifted people who failed to reach their full potential because for them, the price was too high, it was too hard, it took too long so they gave up the fight. Quite often, it is not talent that makes the difference but perseverance.

Be the shark, keep moving forward. Your dreams, your goals, your success is worth fighting for.


The road to success is a toll road and that toll of diligence and hard work, MUST be paid.There is no shortcut around hard work and diligence.

You were born to accomplish great things. Don’t drown in the sea of mediocrity. Keep moving forward toward your destiny.

Brave Enough to Fail Inc. is a nonprofit formed in late 2015, that provides motivational programs and scholarships to high schools with a special focus on those schools that are most in-need. 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.

You donation could change the destiny of a child. Please give today.


Expert: Achievement Gap a National Crisis



By Kim Wilcox

(originally published May 9 2017 by DiverseEducation.com)

There is a national crisis in American higher education, and it threatens to exacerbate the most pressing challenges facing our nation. Consider this sobering fact: For every 10 African-American students who enter college, only four will graduate. Just four in 10. That is a shameful record, and we cannot hope to address the underlying causes of social and economic inequality in our country if this trend continues.

College enrollment in the U.S. continues to stand at record highs.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. colleges and universities enrolled 20.5 million students last fall, an increase of 5.2 million students compared to 2000. This upward trend is likewise true across ethnic categories. Between 2000 and 2014 (the latest year for which we have national data on ethnicity), undergraduate enrollment among African-American students increased a phenomenal 57 percent, and enrollment among Latino students more than doubled.

But, as a college degree has become a prerequisite for getting into the middle class and beyond, enrollment is not enough. In the marketplace, job applicants with some or no college will lose out to a college graduate almost every time. Additionally, students who do not complete their degrees often face thousands of dollars in debt without the means to repay it.

USA Today reported last year that students who drop out of college are four times more likely to default on their student loans compared to those who graduated. If six in 10 African-American students aren’t completing their degrees, it doesn’t take much to see the ramifications for individuals, communities and the entire nation.

Read full article here

Dr. Kim Wilcox is the chancellor of UC Riverside.

Brave Enough to Fail is augmenting other efforts to close the education achievement gap by working at the student level to spark and sustain the burning desire to achieve in as many students as possible.

Learn how you can help today Click Here

White Students 57 Hispanic Students 26



Another year, another big achievement gap in our state.

The Connecticut Mirror reports that for Connecticut – where one of every 10 public school students speaks Spanish as his or her primary language – academic achievement gaps between Hispanic students and their white classmates are among the largest in the nation.

26 percent of Hispanic students and 57 percent of white students were at or above proficiency in 4th-grade reading. That’s a 31-point gap. (Link to source article is below)

While the report is focused on the struggle of English learners, it serves as yet another reminder of the adversities and hurdles facing so many of our children in the schools systems today.

It also underscores the vital need for our students to use every tool available to help them achieve in an environment of scant resources and shrinking budgets.

One very important tool is the motivation and persistence needed to overcome adversity and achieve even in an environment and circumstance that is far from perfect.

And let’s be honest, for many students, helping themselves is all the help they are going to get for the foreseeable future.

Increased student motivation, and engagement are required ingredients for any recipe for success in narrowing the student achievement gaps.

There is one organization whose main goal is helping students to help themselves.

Brave Enough to Fail Inc. is a Connecticut based nonprofit formed in late 2015, that provides motivational programs and scholarships to high schools with a special focus on those schools that are most in-need.

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.

About the author

Wayne Winsley is founder and Executive Director of Brave Enough to Fail Inc. which provides motivational programs and scholarships to schools. The mission is raising student achievement by inspiring kids to achieve their dreams. www.BraveEnoughToFail.org

Source article for this post is here 




Brave Enough to Fail Receives $15K Donation to Inspire Kids

We put Students on the Pathhome-button

Brave Enough to Fail Inc. is a Connecticut based nonprofit formed in late 2015, that provides motivational programs and scholarships to high schools with a special focus on those schools that are most in-need. 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.

Recently an anonymous private donor stepped forward to give fifteen thousand dollars to further that mission.

Peter Lumaj

Peter Lumaj, one of the founding board members of Brave Enough to Fail is very enthusiastic about both the donation and the organization.

“I was extremely pleased to learn about this generous donation. This is literally going to impact several thousand young people in a positive way.  As someone who grew up in a communist country with no opportunity, came to America with nothing and was able to overcome those circumstances,  I know first hand, that poverty and adversity can be overcome through education, determination and hard work. But it takes courage to do that. This organization is planting seeds of success in the minds of students throughout Connecticut. That is why I am so proud to support it.”


Brave Enough to Fail is founded and run by Wayne Winsley, a teacher, motivational speaker and former radio broadcaster for over twenty years. Winsley says,

“This donation is such a blessing and I am both humbled and honored to accept it on behalf of the students who are going to be inspired as a result of it. I’m living proof that a message can change the direction of a life. At age 14 I was wandering the streets of Cleveland  Ohio with no direction and hadn’t been to school regularly in a year. I heard someone speaking a positive message that said even I was capable of accomplishing great things. That message changed my life and that’s how I know that even in our poorest schools and under the most dire and poverty stricken circumstances, there are children who are capable of accomplishing great things if they have the courage to try. Those children are worth the effort it takes to deliver that message to them.”

You can be a part of inspiring the next generation. Please join us and give today.


For interviews or more information contact Wayne Winsley wayne@BraveEnoughToFail.org     Twitter @WayneWinsley

Increase Student Engagement & Decrease Student Suspensions

Mission Statement pic

“WHEN TEACHERS DON’T know what to do with unruly students, they sometimes look to the easiest solution they have at hand,” Jason Berkenfeld LAW ’17 said in an interview with The Politic. “Our schools have a problem with how quickly [teachers] turn to severe punishment.”

What is we can help reduce the number of unruly students needing punishment by increasing the number of students who are more likely to be engaged contributors to the class?

Joe Cirasuolo, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents and former superintendent in both the Clinton and Wallingford school districts, recently told The Politic that Engaged students learn better.


“Students who are successfully engaged in learning tend to require less discipline. When [students] engage in learning, they don’t misbehave,” he said. “They start to own their own learning, and they thrive on it.”

We agree, and the impact on the overall learning environment is huge.

One disengaged and unmotivated student can become a disruption that negatively impacts the learning experience of the entire class. Leading of course, to possible suspension of the disengaged student who only becomes further removed from the education process.

On the other hand, if that student is is engaged and truly sees his or her education as key to getting what THEY want, the positive impact on the learning experience of the entire class is no less substantial. That positive impact extends into lower suspension rates and higher student achievement scores.

Motivating students with the courage to see their dreams as valuable and worth while, and their education as a way to make those dreams come true can be a very  valuable tool in effort to decrease the number of student suspensions.


About the author

Wayne Winsley is founder and Executive Director of Brave Enough to Fail Inc. which provides motivational programs and scholarships to schools. The mission is raising student achievement by inspiring kids to achieve their dreams. www.BraveEnoughToFail.org

Source article for this post is here 

Please give. Your donation today could change the destiny of a child. donate-button

#Inspiring Kids to Achieve Their Dreams


Over 400 students at Bartlett Senior & Junior High School in Webster Massachusetts received a powerful message of courage, determination, and achievement.

The “Be the Boss of Your Dream” presentation is geared toward inspiring students with the courage to overcome adversity, achieve their dreams, and to see their education as a way to get what they want out of life.  Take a look.

The presentation was made possible thanks to a generous, and anonymous sponsor.

BraveEnough to Fail provides free motivational programs and scholarships to high schools.To request the Brave Enough to Fail program for your students visit http://www.BraveEnoughToFail.org

Please make a donation today to help raise student achievement by inspiring kids to achieve their dreams.


Anonymous donor sponsors presentation at Webster high school

Brave Enough to Fail, a Connecticut based nonprofit which provides free motivational presentations and scholarships to high schools will be at Bartlett Junior & Senior High School on Wednesday April 12th at 1:00pm.

Wayne Winsley, executive director of the organization says,

“Our mission is to raise student achievement by inspiring kids to achieve  dreams. Donors are stepping forward to that mission and I am pleased and humbled at the opportunity to plant seeds of success in the minds of young people.”

Local media are invited to attend the event.

Bartlett Junior & Senior High  52 Lake Pkwy, Webster, MA

John House, a BETF Person of Courage



(Don’t miss the exclusive video below) 

John House grew up with 6 brothers and sisters in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas. His family was typical of most families at the time living month-to-month to make ends meet. They alternated between months where all the bills could be paid and months where they needed help from food stamps.

As a kid, John stood out as a straight A student in school. His parents stressed that education was the key to getting out of poverty. John was also a good athlete playing baseball, basketball and soccer. He always dreamed of going to college on a sports scholarship.

However things change around the time he turned 13. John moved in with his older brother a few miles away because his parents house was full. His sisters had become teenage moms and were now living at home with their new families.

A short while later his parents got divorced and John moved back in with his father to take care of his younger brother while their dad went to work. Their neighborhood was a tough one with regular gang violence and shootings. On multiple occasions as a teenager John had been shot at and personally witnessed friends and strangers getting shot.

Once in high school things got progressively worse. John faced pressure from various gangs and individuals to sell drugs, steal cars for cash and commit violent crimes. He had stopped going to school and gave up on any hope of going to college. It was at this point when he witnessed a fatal shooting from 2 feet away that John knew he had to do something different.

Fortunately John’s dad decided he couldn’t afford to keep the house they grew up in anymore and moved to a cheaper suburb of Dallas. John quickly got a job at an office supply store. About 6 months later John’s dad decided to kick him out of their apartment. So at 17, John was now out on his own and working full time.

This adversity actually gave him more encouragement to succeed. He vowed to himself to show his family and the world that he could get the college degree he dreamed of as a kid. So John took his high school equivalency test and then enrolled in the local community college. He worked full-time during the day and went to classes from 5-10 p.m. every night.

After 2 years John had enough credits and a high enough GPA to transfer to the University of Texas at Austin to study civil engineering. From there he went on to join the Air Force and served 8 years in the public affairs and marketing career fields. After leaving the Air Force, John used his GI Bill benefits to get a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Maryland University College and a Masters in Business Administration from the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin.

John continued his career outside of the military working as a manager and director at various companies and government agencies. In 2013 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and required major surgery to remove the tumor. The recovery process was going to take 6-12 months. During this time he was let go by his employer. So at this point John had a wife and 3 children to support and no job. He also didn’t know if his cancer had already spread to other internal organs or exactly what his future held if he had to receive more treatment.

So John’s family sold their house and everything they owned and moved to England, where his wife was originally from. Less than a year later another tumor was found in his lymph nodes, but luckily it was away from any vital organs and easily removed with surgery.

John continued his recovery in England and almost by necessity started his own business because of the need to have job flexibility. This ended up being a blessing in disguise. John discovered that he could actually make money at doing the things he really enjoyed and was naturally good at.

He started his marketing agency with one client and built up new clients 1-at-a-time through referrals. He quickly leveraged his initial business relationships to take on more work and expanded from marketing consulting to market research and social media marketing. His company now does work for small and medium sized businesses, as well as performing marketing campaigns for bigger brands like KFC and Starbucks.

Today, John House is the Owner and Managing Director of Pintrical, a marketing agency based in England. On his way to becoming an entrepreneur, John has overcome poverty, surviving gang related violence, being a high-school dropout and most recently pancreatic cancer.


Want so tips on how to get started on following your dream?

Click the video and learn from someone who has done it.


Words of wisdom on following your dream.

Brave Enough to Fail Inc. is a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit. Our mission is to raise student achievement by inspiring students to become fully engaged in their education as a way to achieve their dreams. Click Hear to Learn how you can help.


Education Reform Won’t Help YOUR Child 



If your child is struggling freshman in one of the many less affluent, high schools across Connecticut where overall achievement and test scores lag behind those in more well-to-do school districts, there is no help on the horizon.

Any solutions are still years away. By the time those solutions arrive, many of today’s freshman will have either graduated lacking the skills to compete in college and career, or dropped out to be caught the social service or justice systems.

The recent ruling of Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher in CCJEF v. Rel concluded that “the state of education in some towns is alarming” and that “egregious gaps exist between rich and poor districts.”

That ruling is being appealed and who knows when that appeal will be won or lost.

After that, our elected officials still have to formulate and pass a plan to fund schools more fairly and in such a way as to get more help to students in low income areas. Then find the money to actually put that plan into action, all during a time when Connecticut is facing a massive budget deficit and school funding is cut rather than increased.

In short, if your high school aged child is currently on the wrong side of the education achievement gap,  good luck. He or she better figure out how to succeed in hard circumstances because there is little or no help coming in the near future.

Joseph Cirasuolo, executive director of Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents summed up the situation best when he said,

“The state makes decisions on funding every year, and unless they’re obligated by some court order there’s no proposal anyone can make that over the next few years says, ‘This is what we’re going to spend on education,’”

His comment was made recently during a meeting of leaders from five state education advocacy groups.

Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, Connecticut Association of Public School SuperintendentsConnecticut Association of Schools, and Connecticut Council for Education Reform.

According to the experts, the best we can hope for is some sort of policy change over the next few years.

What about the thousands of children who are in school right now?

Shouldn’t someone be something to help them?

At the very least, shouldn’t someone be offering these students a way to try and help themselves while the “cavalry” is trying to build a roadmap to find them and to buy horses to reach them?

Fortunately there is at least one organization that is helping students to overcome this adversity and help themselves now.


Wayne Winsley is Executive Director of Brave Enough To Fail, a nonprofit student motivational program. To interview Mr. Winsley or learn more email wayne@BraveEnoughToFail.org or visit http://www.BraveEnoughToFail.org

Read source Article here