John-Carlos Estrada

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JCE BLOG: A talk with the next generation

  • May 27, 2016
Giving my motivation talk to the 5th graders at Williams

Giving my motivation talk to the 5th graders at Maggiano’s in Plano.

I got a big honor – to deliver motivational remarks to the 5th graders at my former elementary school in Garland, Texas.

One of the 5th grade teachers had seen a blurb written in the GISD newsletter last fall and contacted me about giving a speech at their banquet.

I know for many elementary school probably seems like ages ago — but for me it was a period of enlightenment. It was a place I learned to succeed.

My biggest accomplishment still stands to this day — top AR Reader!

During my 5th grade year, I read over a hundred books and raked up over 500 AR points. Nerd — yes!

It was a delight to meet all the graduating 5th graders.

Thank you to the Williams family for the invitation.

The top 5th graders at Williams

The top 5th graders at Williams Elementary.

Below are my remarks:

Thank you for the invite to talk to all the graduates from my alma mater — Williams Elementary. First of all, congratulations to all of you for making it through the first part of your educational career. I was in your shoes about 18 years ago — and let me tell you it goes by fast!

As you move forward to middle school, high school and college — I’d like to share THREE things I’ve learned along the way that I want you to keep in mind.

  1. SAY THANK YOU — to those who’ve helped you along the way. There are two educators from Williams I still stay in contact with — my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Garcia and former librarian Mrs. Craft. Both of those women helped me understand that there was a world outside of Williams and Garland. Over the past 20 years, I’ve included them on updates in my life and they’ve given me advice and support. Before you leave Williams — think of those educators and mentors who helped you.
  2. BE YOURSELF — middle school will be a chance for you to really get to know yourself. You’ll meet new friends and probably say goodbye to others — but it’s okay. Find people that will challenge and support you. I’ve got a 3 friends who I met in middle school — that I keep up with. Those friends — Angie, Shelby and Elizabeth — knew me as John and still do — even if I’m on TV everyday… they are good friends. So, again, be yourself and surround yourself around friends who love and care for you.
  3. FIND YOUR PASSION — it was actually at Williams that I learned I like to talk to people and learn about their lives. I didn’t know it just yet — but that skill is something I use everyday as a news anchor/reporter. From the moment I left Williams — I added to that ‘communication’ skill in high school and college — with classes and internships. And it helped find the career I love to wake up and do everyday. That’s one of the great things that Williams provided — a chance to find a skill that helped set me up for success.

So again, SAY THANK YOU, BE YOURSELF and FIND YOUR PASSION — if you keep those three things I mind over the next few years — you’ll be a step ahead of the game. Good luck — and I expect to see great things from all of you.

Embarrassing 5th grade graduation photo with my cousin Maribel Estrada.

Embarrassing 5th grade graduation photo with my cousin, Maribel Estrada.

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