Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger dressed in his #45 for the Georgia Tech game
I never get tired of watching the movie “Rudy.” An inspirational movie about a young man overcoming dyslexia, parents not thinking he was college material, everyone telling him he was too small to play at Notre Dame or simply no one believing in him. With no support and the odds stacked up against him, Rudy pushed himself every day to improve academically and sustain the physical beatings at football practice to realize his dream. The dream to run out of the tunnel at Notre Dame Stadium as a member of the Fighting Irish. As everyone knows, Rudy is a success story for the ages. Rudy accomplished his dream. Why was Rudy successful? Rudy was driven and motivated to have a better life and follow his dreams. Rudy believes in the Four C’s”: character, courage, contribution, and commitment. These are the ingredients to success and promotes this belief through the College Football Rudy Award presented to deserving Division I players.
As educators, we can and should take every opportunity to encourage our students to chase their dreams and not let anyone or anything get in the way. Not even themselves! Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. How often do we encourage students to dream and then pursue it? At Worth County High School, we conduct a 9th Grade Pinning Ceremony each year as a way to encourage students to follow their dreams. As part of the ceremony, students tell educational and community leaders their plans after high school graduation. In return, we encourage and tell them we will support them along the way. The students are given a pin with the school crest on it as a daily reminder of their commitment. The students also sign a graduation robe as part of the commitment. The robes are displayed in a trophy case as a daily reminder when they pass by it. If you have any ideas to share, I would love to hear them.