Tuesday, August 24, 2010

An Open Letter to the College Student I met today...

To the Young Man I met at Niagara County Community College today,

You impressed me.

You told me you were there to take an entrance exam to get into the college, and that it was your fourth time trying. You told me that you were unable to take the exam because you had previously failed it three times.

I asked you why you kept failing and you said you were dumb. I don’t think you are.

I watched you compliment at least three people when I was in your presence. I listened as you conversed with another student about your future plans. I was impressed that you were able to articulate your plans to me about what you wanted to take classes for and what you hoped to become.

You are not a failure.

The only thing you need to be successful, you already have: a willingness to learn. You WANT to be in college, and you are doing whatever it takes to get there.

You also have the gift of tenacity. The fact that you were there to take the test for the fourth time says a lot about your character and work ethic.

The test you are trying to pass is worth passing, if only to open up the doors of opportunity for the future you deserve. You will have many tests in your life, and this is just one. Passing them opens more doors, but the tests themselves are irrelevant to the fact that you are willing to get through the test to get to whatever is better on the other side of it. (Whatever the test may be…)

You are just 18 years old. You are at the beginning of everything.

Do not give up. Do not get down. Do not underestimate yourself or the gifts you have.

Keep being nice to others. Maintain your place on the path you have laid out for yourself. Keep trying.

Believe that you can, and you will.

I believe in you.

You are not a failure.


  1. Wow. What incredible words of inspiration. I think all our youth of today need to hear this. I saw on the KMS website that you had been working with some teachers there over the summer & I wondered if it was the same Mike Fisher whose family I know so I followed the link. Yes, it is, and I am not surprised to hear these words coming from someone who belongs to that family. Your parents have every right to be proud, as I know they are.