Woodland High School students learn to reach for their dreams through planning and financial managementPrevious Next
Woodland High School students learned how to achieve their dreams by settings goals, managing money, and planning for their future from Colin Ryan, a professional speaker who gives a special presentation entitled "Stand Up for your Dream" to high school students throughout the United States.
Colin Ryan gives a presentation entitled "Stand Up for your Dream" to help high school students learn to plan for their future.
Near the end of the school year, Fibre Credit Union sponsored Ryan's visit to Woodland High School to speak about the importance of financial management and how planning can result in students achieving their dreams. Ryan started the presentation by asking students to think about their first dreams in life. Students answered that they wanted to be pharmacists, veterinarians, or star in Broadway musicals. Ryan shared his dream: wanting to live in the movie "Braveheart." He explained that he wanted to live a life of passion, but had no idea how to begin.
After graduating college, Ryan got a job working in the mailroom at the Bank of Scotland. While working in Scotland, Ryan encountered coworkers who he used as "reverse mentors," someone who demonstrates the opposite way to act. One coworker would start each workday by announcing how many days he had left until retirement. "I never wanted to end up hating my job that way so I used that coworker as an example of what not to do," explained Ryan. "Let's think really, really big by using 'Secrets of the Universe' skills to help find our way and plan goals."
Following the discussion of dreams, Ryan talked about the importance of managing money and budgeting. Ryan projected several advertisements on a screen, and gave statistics including how the average person sees 85 different ads each day. Ryan followed the ads with a video of a man talking about being up to his eyeballs in debt. "When you see someone who owns a lot of stuff, you often think, 'it must be nice to have such a wonderful life,'" said Ryan. "However, it's often the case that the person you see is buying all of those things using credit, loans, and methods they can't sustain."
Students in the audience volunteered to share their dreams and fears with the other students in the assembly.
Ryan spoke to the students about different definitions of success, and about the misconception that success only comes from accomplishing dreams without help. "I have great news for you – that is almost never how people become successful," said Ryan. "All around you are people who will move mountains for you, but it’s up to you to ask them to guide you and offer you opportunities." Ryan talked about the importance of building relationships with people to find and establish opportunities through networking. Ryan told a story of how his grandmother spoke to everyone when they went out. "My grandma taught me that the key to success is to get noticed and be interested in other people," he explained. "The people who build relationships with the one who can offer them jobs are the ones who get the jobs and the promotions."
Ryan asked students to share their different fears with students answering with fears of trees, scorpions, and even a fear of long words. "When a fear shows up between you and something you want, you should feel the fear but act on it, anyway," said Ryan. Ryan explained that when he started presenting, he had a strong fear of public speaking, however he overcame his fear because he wanted to work as a comedian and a professional public speaker. "If you have a fear holding you back, the shortest way past is straight through it," he said.
Ryan then spoke about money and budgeting by showing a video of an experiment where young children were offered a marshmallow, but told they would receive a second one if they could wait ten minutes. Some of the children ate the first marshmallow immediately while some were able to wait and received a second marshmallow. "There are two types of people in the world: those who can't wait and those who can wait," said Ryan. The children in the experiment were studied as they grew up. The kids who waited for a second marshmallow performed better academically, made more friends, and struggled less with health issues like weight or drug addiction. "This experiment is about our ability to control our temptations," explained Ryan. "When you save money, you buy yourself one thing most people don't buy themselves - you buy yourself time; you give yourself time to get good enough to get what you want - saving money is buying time."
Students high-five Colin Ryan following the presentation while thanking him for sharing his inspirational stories.
In the past six years, Ryan has presented in 25 states, giving more than 500 speeches to different audiences. "I love telling people stories like the ones about my grandmother," he said. "I get to share her legacy which is such a treat." Ryan became motivated to speak with high school students because he saw a need for someone to talk to students about the importance of planning. "I always felt this subject was important as I grew up, but I personally never cared because no one made it connect with me," he said. "I want to continue working on how to get students to connect with budgeting and saving."