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Students told 'Life is about choices'
Bad decisions that students make today, whether big or small, can affect them negatively for the rest of their lives.
“Anytime you can have adult role models talk to kids about taking control of their own lives, it's important,” said Gila Vista Principal Rusty Tyndall. “They need to hear it from parents, aunts, uncles, teachers, community leaders ... they just need to hear it a million times over.”
Former NFL tight end Michael Cobb spoke to Gila Vista Junior High students Wednesday about making good choices and deciding to make the right decisions in their lives.
“Life is about choices ... if you make good choices, you're going to have good results. Choose to be nice to one another.”
Cobb told the students that if they didn't like it when people were mean to them, they shouldn't do mean things to other people.
“That's why the world has the problems it does, ladies and gentlemen, because people aren't nice to each other,” he said. He gave the students an example of someone being mean to someone else and shared the story of the Columbine shootings.
“The reason Columbine happened is because kids did things like this to their classmates, thinking it was funny,” he said and made the “loser” sign with his hand in front of his forehead.
Sometimes people don't realize that choices you make can have such a big impact on the people around them, Cobb said.
“You're not born a winner, you're not born a loser, you're born a chooser.”
Cobb asked the students to write down their dreams on a piece of paper that he handed out to the kids and after they were done, he told them that “talk is cheap.”
“Just because you wrote down your dreams on a piece of paper, doesn't mean they're going to happen.”
He told the students that it takes effort and they need to come to school every day to make sure they are prepared for the future.
“You can be headed for real serious trouble if you don't start getting the right attitude in life.”
If a student received a 99 percent on an assignment or test, most teachers wouldn't try to work with the student to make sure they get up to 100 percent, he said, but he told the students that 99 percent is not good enough.
“If 99 percent were good enough, that would mean that every month in America more than 2,500 airplanes would crash. They could say ... ‘99 percent of our planes landed safely,' but that would be unacceptable.”
He said that 99 percent is also not good enough for their dreams and goals.
“If you want to succeed and make those things come true, you have to have a good attitude and give 100 percent,” Cobb urged the students.
Seventh-grader Angel Cruz said the thing Cobb told during his presentation that had the biggest impact on her was his retelling of the Columbine shootings, because they had actually just learned about that in school.
Aliyah Bradford, another seventh-grader, explained that it takes a lot of perseverance to reach your dreams.
“We can't give up. When I grow up, I want to become a doctor and make my mom proud.”
Sarah Womer can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6858.