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



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.


Chris Cassone Takes 4th place in Brave Enough To Write Short Story Contest

Chris Cassone of Patterson New York is a writer of songs, stories, fiction and screenplays.
His Beatles fan fiction,  ode to the sun and angst filled days of summer in upstate New York  wowed the judges garnered Chris fourth place in the nationwide 18 and over category of the Brave Enough To Write short story contest. the contest was held as a fundraiser for the nonprofit Brave Enough To Fail which provides free motivational programs and scholarships to high schools. learn more about Brave Enough to Fail here  and Subscribe to our newsletter to get early word on the next contest!
Read it here.
Chris is the composer of 18 songs for “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die – The Musical” which premiered this past June in the 1000 seat Charleston Music Hall. Now it is on its way to off-Broadway.

Last year he had his first top ten record, co-writing with old friend Ace Frehley (former KISS founder and guitarist) on his Billboard #9 CD, “Space Invader”. This came on the heels of his You Tube hit, “Route 22,” about the road from the Bronx to Canada. In 2012 he led the BBQ All Stars on a tour of BBQ festivals with “My Baby Loves BBQ”.

Chris started his path as a recording engineer in the late 70’s to better document his songs, mentoring with hit maker, Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Frampton) where he learned the art of production and the need for story in the song. He worked with Dr. John, Mercer Ellington and Billy Joel, among many others. Old friend, Chazz Palminteri and director Robert DeNiro, tapped him to record the music for A Bronx Tale in 1992.

His next production, The Cakeman Chronicles, is a one man musical about the intrigue around his family bakery in New York in the 50’s and 60’s, including his finagling into concerts using sheet cakes.

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.

Source article for this post is here 




As Budget Woes Worsen Schools and Students Pick up The Tab






In his OpED in the Sunday’s Hartford Courant; First Selectman of Trumbull, Tim Herbst outlines the ways in which proposed cuts will effect schools and students throughout CT.

As Selectman Herbst states “It is sickening and it is time for a change.” The question however is what does that change look like? Can we the people wait for our elected officials to correct the issues facing our state, our towns, our schools and our students or will waiting make it too late for an entire generation of students?

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.

The solution is Brave Enough To Write (BETW) a platform in which students are encouraged to self-publish their own literature. Through the program students can share their stories and read the stories of their peers. Participating students will be given the on-going chance to win enrichment scholarship through the program. The program will be directly tied to English Curriculum.

Through the BETW platform we will be able to address some of the potential damage of the proposed budget cuts from Governor Dan Malloy. Students will be able to participate in a program that advances their English and writing skills, increases self-confidence and provides scholarships to help further their enrichment. Organizations with participating students will be eligible to win matching enrichment grants to help off-set budget short falls. So if a student wins, the organization or school system they are from wins.

As Selectman Herbst says “it is time for a change” and BETF through the BETW program is actively working on this change!


Source Article Here 

Don’t Let CT’s Children Fall into the Gap


“Always Strive for excellence, no matter what you do. Excellence will overcome prejudice, poverty, and adversity every time.”

When I heard those words spoken by the father of my best friend, I was a fourteen year old black kid wandering the streets of Cleveland Ohio. I was a repeat eighth grader who hadn’t attended school regularly for a year. Statistically I was too old to be reachable and was on a one-way path to either a prison cell or a cemetery plot.

But that simple message helped motivate me to make better choices and have the courage to follow my dreams.

I managed to get an education, even in the substandard inner city schools that I attended, and become a productive citizen in the country that I love. After serving in the United States Navy, I enjoyed a fantastic 20 year career as a radio newscaster and talk show host, ran for U.S. Congress, and now I am a teacher inspiring and educating my middle school students.

That is how I know that on any given day the right message, from the right person, can change the trajectory of a child’s life.

That is why I am convinced that we can break the cycles of poor achievement and poverty for many of our young people here in Connecticut.

There are more than 206,000 students in Connecticut public schools who are classified as poor, based on their family’s income level.

“Teachers, principals, superintendents, and others connected to some of the state’s lowest-achieving schools took turns testifying during a recent trial about the trauma and poverty their students face – and the shortage of resources they say they have with which to help.”

We are reaching out help some of those students to help themselves.

“In Bridgeport and Hartford, two of the largest school districts in the state, only a quarter of the students are reading at grade level and half are significantly behind.”

Our mission is to help change those numbers for the better.

The Tauck Family Foundation, a private foundation that invests in the development of children from low-income families in Bridgeport, reports that students in low-performing schools are five times more likely to drop out of high school than those in high-performing schools.

One high school in Stamford has nearly 200 repeat freshmen who are high risk to drop out.

  Our goal is to inspire those students not to give up on themselves.                                           We will be a lifeline of motivation and resources that these students can hold onto over the next four years to help pull themselves out and over their circumstances and fulfill their dreams.

We are also launching leadership programs for students as young as 4th and 5th grade.


Our children can’t wait for the grownups to to get their act together.

The decision of Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell came over 10 years after the case was brought to court in 2005. The appeal could take even longer and after that, the politicians have to fight about exactly how to go about helping the children caught on the wrong side of the achievement gap. How many years will that take?

What about the thousands and thousands of children struggling in our failing schools now?

Far too many of our young people are leaving poor school systems unable to break the cycle of poverty and ending up in prison or in the social services safety net.

You can help change that.

Can our student motivational program save every student? Of course not.

But can it save SOME students by inspiring them with the courage and determination to overcome the odds and succeed even in so-called failing school systems?

The answer is YES!

Is saving the future of even a few of these children worth the effort?  Is it worth doing?


If your answer is yes,  please give as much as you can right now.                                    

Your donation could literally change the destiny of a child.


You can Sponsor a school for $5,000, Sponsor a scholarship for $1,000

                             Give $500, $250, $100, $50, $25, $10


Wayne Winsley

Executive Director, Brave Enough to Fail Inc.


Ct Mirror When Poverty Permeates the Classroom  by Jacqueline Rabe Thomas


Yale Daily News Behind Connecticut’s “Opportunity Gap” by