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'Be willing to do what others don’t to achieve what others won’t'

Caitlen Cameron • Updated May 15, 2018 at 4:22 PM

MONROEVILLE — “Be the one that inspires those around you, to give back in a way that not only benefits your school but your community,” said Ben Paul told new members of the National Honor Society in a recent motivational speech.

Monroeville’s athletic director spoke to the National Honor Society students from local schools gathered at the Monroeville High School M.A.C to celebrate their accomplishments, learn about leadership and make new friendships.

“We want to get everyone together and join other schools to get new friends since we all want the same goals in life and to serve our community since we are all together and not just individuals in our schools,” Monroeville NHS junior Jessica Hayes said.

The event began with two motivational speakers, Gene Smith, the former Jacksonville Jaguars general manager, and Paul.

Smith’s speech gave the five major elements he believes build a great successful leader, “self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.”

Smith also made his key arguments for views on discipline and determination in school and life.

“If you have discipline and determination, if you have those two things it is difficult to fail anything in life. The greater the challenge, the more determined you’ll become. You just have to be willing to do what others don’t, to achieve what others won’t.”

Paul had a focus on volunteering and the effect it makes on a student or adult’s life.

“The best part about volunteering is that you don’t have to be a Logan Stieber to volunteer, it doesn’t take any special skill or God-given talent, all you have to do is to be able to give your time and have a positive attitude,” Paul said.

After the speeches, students split off into different multicolored groups and performed different trust and leadership activities like blindfolded maneuvering, stress ball making, blanket making, follow the leader and charades.

Junior Jessica Hayes also said she was thankful for all the donations and help received.

“It took about three months to get everything together and during this time we contacted a bunch of businesses in the area like Marcos and Subway to be able to get everything by donation,” she said.

Area schools like Norwalk Local Schools brought their junior class instead of their senior class for the festivities.

Norwalk Junior Sela Berry said she was excited for the day.

“Mrs. Gfell brought up the great opportunity. I want to learn how to be a better leader and to learn how to really put it to use,” Berry said.

Nancy Gfell, Norwalk’s NHS advisor of the past ten years said she had never heard of or been invited to anything like this before.

“This is the first time we have been able to go to something like this and I think this is fantastic, I mean what’s not to learn from this,” Gfell said.

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