What do sixth grade EXCEL Students have to say about Inventing Self©?

"I am currently a sixth grade student in Islip Middle School. I live with my parents and my brother and I am in the process of figuring out exactly who I am and what I have to contribute towards my future. I am in the process of inventing myself! Who do I want to live out my life? What does my future look like? Designing and building my dream house has helped me become more familiar with myself; the good, the bad and the in-between."

"Throughout the course of this year I have been inspired."

"I learned a lot about myself during this project...I felt so accomplished and proud of myself when I finished...projects like these help you because they require a lot of thought, patience, creativity, and determination."

"I know that when I grow up I will make decisions to be a respectful person."

"Maybe I could be a biochemical engineer and help find a cure to cancer."

"Ever since the first day of EXCEL in fourth grade, I knew it would be a challenge. But over the years, I've overcome my fears. I know now that I am capable of anything I put my mind to. This year I LOVE EXCEL. I am so excited about the Dream House project. At first, I was extremely nervous. Now, I am anxious to start building! Thank you for everything, being a good listener, a pen-pal, a motivator, and my inspiration."

“Anyone, even you, can be the one who figures it all out.  You just start small and turn big, enormous, gigantic, anything…You’re the one who chooses who you want to be.  You could end up anywhere: in Washington D.C. meeting the president, in a stadium with thousands of fans screaming your name, or as simple as just a person working in McDonald’s.  However, before all this happens, you go through a journey of discovering your true self.”

“The world is connected by invisible strings…it is possible that the small strings in the EXCEL Family can connect architecture into Inventing Self©.”

“Once you go in depth in the project, you realize how exigent it is to accomplish.”

“I approached these problems with confidence that I’d be able to find a solution for them.”

“I’ve learned that I have to set some regulations to my working habits to get things done.  If I want to prosper in my further education experience, I have to learn to limit myself to procrastination and to train myself to be the best I can be.”

“When put to work, I really began to sift through all my attributes of my personality and pick out the ones that stand out, like my procrastination.  To know myself was a bigger task than I expected!”
“The dream house has taught me so much, both about the art of architecture, and about myself.”

“It makes me feel accomplished because I succeeded in a hard task.”

“When there was a problem, I faced it and learned something new about myself every time.”

“Inventing Self© really helped me believe in myself and gave me lots of perseverance.”

“The entire sixth grade dream house project was a great learning experience...this assignment has helped me become even more organized.  I benefitted from this and very much enjoyed it.”

"I have begun to comprehend who I am today."

"I am ardent for going to EXCEL every Friday to see what challenges I will overcome that day."

"Inventing Self© has had a large influence on who I want to become and what I want to do.  I have learned that when I grow up I would like a job that I would really enjoy.”

"I actually did discover a lot about me...this was a great experience and I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of it."

“As a child, you believe that you know who you are and what type of individual you will become.  However, this statement may not always be true…you are always learning from the experiences that you may have in your life and any mistakes that you’ve made.  I truly believe that you will not know yourself even as an adult because everyday you are figuring out who you are.”

“..I can make a difference in the world no matter what age I am…I am very strong-minded and determined to accomplish any goals I have to make the world a better place.”

“Why some adults do not have this level of creativity stumps me.  My guess is that reality has come down on them, and made some adults more serious and less whimsical...we may go about our days surviving, but why can't we live with more passion and fun in our lives?”

“One baby step is greater than none.  I know I can make a difference.”

"During Psychology of Design, I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned many things about my passions as well...and my strengths and weaknesses...what I truly want for my future, is happiness. Happiness to me is having a great life and always trying my best."

"When you have your mind focused on something you usually aren't thinking about other things at that moment...so if you are very busy your mind is limited to thinking about what you are doing...I enjoy being different... my unique personality enables me to express my creativity."

“…[Inventing Self©] tests the limits of my imagination...  It can take years and years just to come up with one small idea, or just a few hours to cook up a larger one…If you don’t like to do something, you generally don’t do it and steer for a different path, or sometimes realize that it is no longer interesting.”

“The Inventing Self© experiences that I have gone through with EXCEL has really changed me as a person.  It has brought me to face the fact that I will grow up one day and I have to ascertain what I want to experience when I grow up.”

“Knowing my strengths and weaknesses has helped me as a person to achieve my highest potential.”

“Inventing Self© has helped me find out interesting things about myself…I am so thankful that I got to partake in Inventing Self©…”

“All I want for the future is to be happy and do things that I love.”

“…there have been many thoughts I’ve been pondering on throughout the year that have been well explained through the EXCEL program and that I will continue to think about and learn more about myself throughout my future years to come.”

“During Inventing Self© there have been many guests and many lessons that showed me a side of myself I don’t believe I’ve ever seen.  These lessons have showed me who I really am…”

“[Inventing Self] has showed me that I can do whatever and however many careers I want to do as long as I try.”

“…there is one quote I found that related to the way my pessimism has faded away.  Daniel L. Reardon once said, ‘In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip’.”

“The only reason  I see this is because Inventing Self© has made me a completely better person through all of the finding out who you are, finding out what you want to be, everything.  Inventing Self© has showed me the real me.”

“I have learned that I want to use my intelligence to help me make the world a better place for me and everybody else.”

“By far the most important thing that I have learned in EXCEL so far is that by learning about yourself you can understand why you do certain things the way you do.”

“You are giving us information about something that will never change about us- our spirit.”

“Not only is EXCEL teaching me advanced curriculum, but it is shaping my future too.  I never knew what I wanted to do when I grew up…until now.”

“The [Inventing Self© guests] have addressed important topics such as education, decision making, listening to your heart, being true to yourself, morals, believing in your dreams, perseverance, work ethic, values, doing what you love, helping others, following a calling and creating success for yourself.  All these guest visits sparked ideas and made light bulbs appear over my head.”

“This project is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am happy to be able to participate in it.  ‘You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough’ (Mae West)”

“…I do get stressed in life, but I know how to relax and deal with things.  I really feel relaxed in the EXCEL program, especially when we do yoga in a jar.  It makes me feel calm, quiet, and focused.” 

“Participating in this activity showed me that being kind to others can be very rewarding.  Not only was it because of gaining dollars, but because of the good feeling I got when I helped someone else.  Obviously, the experiences I have had with the EXCEL guest speakers have had a great impact on my personality traits and character.”

“I am extremely thankful to all of the Inventing Self Program guests and especially my teacher, Mrs. Johnson.  They have all contributed to helping me figure out for myself, what my purpose in life is.” (sic)

“What I have learned about myself is even though I am sometimes quiet; I have the skills and ability to be a good leader.  In the career that I want to pursue, characteristics of a strong leader are very important.”

“Knowing what you like and don’t like helps you figure out who you are and what your passions are.”

“Growing up is a hard thing to do.  There are so many choices and decisions to make.  Through the past few months…I have learned a lot about myself…After listening to and thinking about Inventing Self© guests I have began to learn about some of my true passions.”

“Through Inventing Self©, I have learned what I want for my future.”


What do sixth grade EXCEL Students have to say about Inventing Self© Presentations?

“These EXCEL Inventing Self© lectures have really helped me decide my career and goals that I plan to achieve when I become a respected adult.”

"I found your life story very interested and I really do appreciate it that you came into our class to share it.  It was amazing how you accomplished so much and really rose to what you believed in..."

"I definitely was not bored while you talked because I was too busy trying to process how you did all of this in about 38 years!..."

"I bet it was rewarding to be in the army and think that you are really helping the world..."

"The fact that you shared your difficulties with us was very touching and you inspired everyone in the class to take a step and do what you believe in, even if it seems impossible..."

"It was really interesting to me when you discussed not finding yourself in the beginning of your life, but you find yourself every day..."

“You started me thinking that whatever society thinks about you…you should always continue the way of your life and eventually you will fulfill or accomplish your goal of becoming who you want to be.”

"I have a lot of things I want to do with my life, so hearing about yours really set a good example..."

"It was extremely interesting to learn about your life..."

“I have thought about what you were saying, and I’ve realized that in life, you have to sacrifice sometimes in order to be happy.”

“Thank you for coming to EXCEL…we saw some great choices to make in life.  You are a great role model to all of us.”

“I love how you achieved so much in your life with pride and effort”

“Thank you for teaching us about your projects in Africa.  They really inspired us.  Now I know how it is possible to build a house out of almost anything!”

“I know a lot of kids don’t get this kind of experience and I am so grateful that I’m lucky enough to have it.”

“You are a great and educated man.  I hope to see you again one day.”

“You helped me understand what stock trading is all about and how it works.”

“Thank you for teaching us about the New York Stock Exchange.  It was really interesting…I think it might be something I want to do when I’m older.”

“You really showed me that even if you start at one job, you can end up with a completely different job that you love.”

“You speech was amazing and you really opened my eyes about the stock exchange and trading.   Your life is an amazing example of finding yourself in things you wouldn’t expect.”

“You had such a strong impact on me and I am very grateful to meet you. Thank you for dedicating your time.”

“Thank you for giving us your time to speak about your journeys.  You are a fantastic man.”

“Thank you for the talk and the tour…Cooper Union seems like a wonderful and interesting school to attend.”

“You explaining everything about Africa was very fascinating to me.”

“I was amazed by all of the accomplishments you made throughout your hard and difficult life.  Even though you had many struggles and complications, you became a very successful man.  Your wonderful presentation influenced me to always want to do well in school because I know it will be worth it in the long run.  You taught me that no matter how many obstacles are in my way, I cam still be a very productive person.”

"Mr. Rodriguez was an interesting and intelligent man to meet. He has helped many causes, which is something I would like to do when I grow up because I just feel the need to help people in harm...Now he has inspired me to help the world and make a change."

“I am astonished how you could get so much accomplished and raise a family.  I think you should write an autobiography.”

“As I was listening to your presentation, I kept on asking myself, ‘how does he do all these things at such a young age?”

“It was just mind-boggling listening to all of your accomplishments.  Your work ethic really inspired me.  I think if someone has the mindset that you have, they can basically do anything.”

“You really inspired me!  Thank you for coming to EXCEL!”

“You have a spectacular life story.  It interested me a lot.”

“You had a powerful impact on my life and you inspired me that no matter how difficult life gets, you can still accomplish your goals.  I will cherish your presentation always, and thank you!”

“Thank you for coming in and speaking to our EXCEL Family.  It means a lot that you would take time out of your day to tell us your story.  You really inspired me.”

“It was really interesting to learn all about how you became you.”

“You had an extremely inspiring story.  I wish we had more time for you to talk more!”

I think you are a very brave person and I hope to be like that.”

“…you have truly inspired me in life, to reach further and to make a difference in the world by trying your best…”

“We are so grateful to have such successful people come into our sixth grade classroom!”

“The way I would explain this is to say that it was very powerful and especially how you get inspired.”

“Hearing your story about saving children in Ghana inspired us to start our own organization.”

“Thank you for your inspiring deeds to the society and people of Ghana.  It has made me think and feel how teens can change the world even with eight people.”

“…got me thinking that every big organization didn’t start that big, it started with just one crazy idea.  So I wanted to say thank you for helping me to realize that…I believe that nothing is going to be easy, but it will be possible.”

“Your presentation has inspired me to do whatever I want to do in life”

“Your presentation was interesting and fascinating too.  This was a great learning experience for me and I will cherish it forever.  Thank you!”

“You opened my eyes for the first time to show me selfless work that helped a torn country mend itself.”

“You really inspired me as well as the whole class”

“I had never heard of Laos, but now I want to research it even more.”

“It was very interesting to learn about Laos and how other people live.”

“The EXCEL luncheon helped start all of us to become philanthropists.  We may not be there yet, but you helped us start something BIG.  Thank you!”