Brave Enough To Fail Awards $2,000 in Scholarships to Faith Preparatory School

 

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Brave Enough To Fail has added yet another “Brave” school to it’s growing ranks.  Students at Faith Preparatory School in New Milford Connecticut received a big dose of motivation and inspiration to “Be The Boss of Their Dreams” along with some scholarship money help launch them toward success.

Jaclyn Mattison, principal of Faith Preparatory School said,

“We could not be prouder to be a Brave Enough To Fail school. We are beyond blessed to have this program and the scholarships made available to our students.”

New Milford based nonprofit provides motivational presentations and scholarships to schools nationwide at no cost to schools or students.  It is being called a new and innovative way to help narrow the student achievement gap.

Wayne Winsley, executive director of BETF says,

“A positive message can change the trajectory of a child’s life. I’m living proof of that, and its why this organization exists. To change children’s lives for the better.” 

A one thousand dollar scholarship will be awarded to a member of this year’s senior class and a second one thousand dollar scholarship has been designated for a member of next year’s senior class.

The Scholarships, which are paid toward expenses at any accredited college or trade school, are awarded based on financial need, grade point average and other criteria.

Please make a donation today. Support our mission to raise student achievement by inspiring kids with the courage to believe and trust in themselves.

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Brave Enough To Fail Awards Six $1,000 Scholarships to Danbury High School

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Thanks to our partnership with Kiwanis Club of Greater Danbury, the generosity of Union Savings Bank, and the hard work of the Key Club of Danbury High School, Brave Enough To Fail was able to deliver a powerful message of motivation, inspiration, and achievement to over 600 seniors at a recent presentation.

The speaker, Wayne Winsley, shared how being raised by his great grandmother, then living in an orphanage and foster homes took him down a road where he faced a crossroad with the options being the cemetery or prison.

After hearing someone say, “Always strive for excellence” something clicked and Wayne paved himself a new path, enjoying decades of success as a radio announcer and now spreading motivation with his story.

He went on to give the students relevant, and specific way to overcome adversity and be the boss of their dreams.

That message was backed up with five $1,000 scholarships to help those motivated students achieve their dreams.

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DHS 1The message must have been effective because after the announcement of the scholarships a BETF supporter, who was attending the presentation as a guest, spontaneously stood up and shouted
“Can we make it six scholarships? If we can make it six, I’ll take care of it!”
And just like that, five scholarships became six scholarships.

 

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Wayne Winsley and Michelle Bonvicini, Director of Community Relations Union Savings Bank

Michelle Bonvicini, Director of Community Relations Union Savings Bank says,

“Motivating and encouraging our young people to be the best they can be is vitally important and we are very happy to be a part of this effort.”

 

 

Wayne Winsley, Executive Director of Brave Enough To Fail commented,

“This was truly a team effort. The Kiwanis Club of Danbury saw the possibilities of this program and paved the way for us. The Key Clubbers did the logistical work of putting the event  together and generating enthusiasm among the student body. And of course none of this would have been possible without the generous support of Union Savings Bank who made the investment in the dreams of all these young people. I am sincerely thankful to everyone on the team.”

Hopefully this is only the beginning. The list of schools that have already requested the Brave Enough To Fail program spans twenty states.

Wayne Winsley says,

“Just imagine how many young people we can impact and how many dreams we sow into. We can help close the achievement gap and strengthen communities across America. All we need is the support of great people like the ones who made this event possible.” 

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

Learn how you can help bring this program and scholarships to a school near you.

visit our website or email info@BraveEnoughToFail.org

Union Savings Bank Invests in New Effort to Narrow Achievement Gap

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Union Savings Bank of Danbury has granted $6,500 in funding for a Brave Enough To Fail program and five $1,000 scholarships for Danbury High School.

The audience will be approximately 600 seniors who will not only get a big dose of motivation to pursue their dreams but also have someone actually sow into their dreams with resources to help them get started.

The mission of Brave Enough To Fail is to help students get better grades in school by inspiring them to pursue their dreams.

Wayne Winsley, founder and executive director of Brave Enough To Fail says,

“We are attacking the education achievement gap by working directly at the student level.” 

The event is April 12th at 9:30AM at Danbury high School in Danbury Connecticut.
Media is invited to attend.
To learn more about bringing the Brave Enough To Fail program and scholarships to your school Click Here

Helping Students Close The Achievement Gap

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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.

 

 

An Inspirational Approach to the Achievement Gap

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Closing the education achievement gap is tough.

New results from the nation’s most widely used college admission test highlight in detailed fashion the persistent achievement gaps between students who face disadvantages and those who don’t.

Scores from the ACT show that just 9 percent of students in the class of 2017 who came from low-income families, whose parents did not go to college, and who identify as black, Hispanic, American Indian or Pacific Islander are strongly ready for college.

But the readiness rate for students with none of those demographic characteristics was six times as high, 54 percent, according to The Washington Post Thursday September 8th 2017.

There are a lot of great people working very hard to narrow this huge gap from the policy, administrative, and teacher side of the spectrum.

But Wayne Winsley, a middle school history teacher who also happens to be a multiple award-winning motivational speaker is taking a different approach. He is working at the student level, using inspiration and motivation to increase student achievement.

His nonprofit organization Brave Enough To Fail Inc. provides free motivational programs and scholarships to high schools.

Winsley explains why he does it,

“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. I know first hand that a message 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 by providing free motivational programs to high schools.”

Natasha Ushomirsky, a policy development director for the Education Trust, a nonprofit that advocates for disadvantaged students, told the Washington Post,  “There’s a lot of power in communicating the expectation that all students can achieve at high levels,”

Research, by the Dalio Foundation of Connecticut, shows that disengaged students who are re-engaged and motivated during the first two years of high school are nearly twice as likely to graduate than students who remain disengaged. See the report here.

Schools across the nation agree about the power of a positive message and are reaching out to request the program. Currently Brave Enough To Fail has requests for the 2017-2018 school year from schools in thirteen states including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey,  Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Washington, and Alaska.

Contact Wayne Winsley  wayne@BraveEnoughToFail.org     Twitter @WayneWinsley  Facebook

 

 

 

Expert: Achievement Gap a National Crisis

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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

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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 

 

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Education Reform Won’t Help YOUR Child 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

Bridgeport Students Left to Fend for Themselves

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The recent article in Ct.Post by Linda Conner Lambeck “Bridgeport Schools brace for potential cuts” raises all sorts of questions and concerns. How is it that Math and Literacy could even be considered to be on the block for any school district?

This is yet another example of students basically being left to find their own way to succeed in a system that is being put in the position of offering students less help instead of more.

One organization is stepping in to offer students some bootstraps with which to pull themselves up.

Brave Enough to Fail, a CT non-profit working to incentivize students to excel in school has developed the Brave Enough to Write program (BETW), specially to address to the growing gap, as well as to off set devastating budget cuts, as proposed in Bridgeport.

The BETW program will be a self-publishing platform, tied to English curriculum that allows students of all ages to write and publish their own stories, and read the stories of their peers. Students within the program will be eligible to win various enrichment scholarships and the school or organization the student comes from will receive a matching scholarship.

While we know that writing is a rewarding activity and can have serious impact on self-esteem and confidence, the BETW program’s aim is to not only help build confidence and self-esteem, but to work to off-set devastating budget gaps by providing students access to educational opportunities as well as funding.

Learn more

Education Gap and Funding Crisis in CT

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As detailed in the November 14th article by Kevin Schultz of The Hour “In Norwalk, faith leaders call for school funding fix” the state of Connecticut has a major issue. The achievement gap is increasing in our state and educational funds are decreasing in large as Rev Carl McCluster states due to “the cancerous funding formula” in the state.

Brave Enough to Fail (BETF), a Non-profit organization is seeking an immediate solution to this devastating problem. Currently BETF provides schools and students with presentations and scholarships geared toward empowering students to succeed.

To answer the larger call that so many CT leaders have voiced, BETF is forming the Brave Enough To Write (BETW) platform. This platform will provide students with access to a self-publishing platform. The platform will be tied in current English Curriculum. Students will be able to write their own stories, read the stories of their peers and win scholarships in the process to further their enrichment.

Writing promotes confidence. Seeing one’s work published promotes confidence and winning scholarships promotes confidence and helps fund further education. The BETW program is designed to lessen the educational gap and to address some of the current funding issues. When a student wins, the school/organization they are a part of wins.

As Representatives from across the state make a case for a rational funding formula, we can help students NOW.

It is BETF’s hope that the leaders talking about this issue; Lenore Jordan, Lindsay Curtis, Deborah Fludd, Henry Floyd, Bruce Morris, Gail Lavielle, and Bob Duff work with us to create this amazing program.

Author: Matthew A. Connell, EdD., MBA.                                                                                 Advisory Board member, Brave Enough to Fail Inc.

Learn how you can help narrow the achievement gap for our children.

 

Source article for this post: In Norwalk, faith leaders call for school funding fix By Kevin Schultz