Virginia Commonwealth University

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Students Learn There’s No Shortcut to Success

April 24, 2012

By Sherese A. Gore
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Students at a Richmond elementary school learned about the value of hard work Monday from a trio of Virginia leaders.

Gov. Bob McDonnell, Virginia Commonwealth University basketball coach Shaka Smart and former Navy SEAL John McGuire told fifth-graders at Overby-Sheppard Elementary School that there is no easy path to success.

“One of you might be the next governor in 20 years; one of you might be the next president … it’s all up to you,” McDonnell said.

The governor said members of VCU’s men’s basketball team, which has made national headlines for its success on the court, illustrated the need for personal commitment and dedication.

“Nobody handed them their dreams … They had to work hard every day. They had to work in the classroom. They had to work countless hours in the gym,” McDonnell said.

“There’s no easy way to success. There’s no shortcuts.”

Smart echoed the governor’s message.

“I think that what you want to do is … admire people that have the qualities that are going to lead you to be successful,” he said.

“Hard work, teamwork – people that go about doing things the right way.”

After hearing such words of inspiration, the fifth-graders participated in team-building exercises. They got help from instructors from McGuire’s physical fitness company, SEAL Team Physical Training Inc., as well as from VCU basketball players.

Demonstrating the importance of working together, the students carried their fellow classmates in short relay-style races and used their combined strength to pull the SEAL Team PT Hummer.

Zakarie Mello, one of the students, said that meeting the governor was a “great opportunity.” She also enjoyed the outside activities.

“It was fun; we got active today,” Zakarie said.

Amanda Fuhrman, a fifth-grade science and language arts teacher, summed up the day’s events: “I hope they learn they can do anything they put their minds to.”

This CNS article was published by The Commonwealth Times.