Working Hard: The Foundations for Success



The moment I learned I would be doing a GOA advocacy project, I knew I wanted to do something tied to education. I thought about ways in which I could help improve the current educational system, but then I thought about the culture of our American society. I considered writing letters to government representatives, talking to principals, and other ways to connect with adults. But then I thought that all these ideas would not be the most effective. These people have already heard ideas like mine; that is when I realized adults were not the answer, but students.

I targeted my work towards middle schoolers. I thought that middle schoolers were the perfect age to start understanding the correlation between action and outcome within one’s education. Through my research, I wanted to show that regardless of what kind of school one attends, just by going to school can greatly impact your future. Learning is learning, no matter the quality. Rather than working on changing the schools, I wanted to change the mindset of the students, so that they can grow up to be more successful. I tried to find the grassroots of the situation to incite change. If all students work hard now, then together, as our generation starts to lead the country, our success can lead to great change. I believe that if we start with the kids, the adults will catch on. Now, more than ever, children have a voice, and an education is where that voice can grow.


I hope you enjoy this video, detailing the journey of a student and important facts connecting education to future success.

Systemic Issues 

However, I understand that there are many systemic reasons that can inhibit a student from working to their highest potential in school. Whether that is needing to work a job to help support one’s family, taking time to care for a family member, a cultural or religious reason, or any other environmental obstacle, these actions take time away that could be spent doing homework, or can lead to exhaustion or other feelings that can prevent best work production. Therefore, my call to action is just to work hard in school, do the most that you can do given your circumstances, given your home environment, and given your school setting.

Hopes and Goals

My hope is that if you are a student, you have been inspired to start (or continue) taking advantage of all the opportunities and resources you have been given. Study for that test rather than watching the next episode on netflix, edit your paper instead of going to the mall, practice your oral presentation rather than heading to the park, and ask for help if you need it.

And, if you are an adult, listen and guide. Listen to the voices of children, listen and be inspired by what they have to say. And guide. Help them find the resources they need: point out where the college resources office is, show a website that can help find jobs, encourage students to work hard, and provide safe spaces in which to do so.


I believe that education is the key to our future success as a country; some people believe it’s the economy, social policy, or politics, but education is what ties it all together. Education is what prepares one to tackle the challenges that life presents. Therefore, I have confidence that if every student is able to attend school and excel by whatever definition their school uses, then there is great hope for a better future.


Crotty, James Marshall. “Motivation Matters: 40% Of High School Students Chronically Disengaged From School.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 13 Mar. 2013,

Fasano, Chris. “How Video and Webcasting Can Help Employees Fulfill Continuing Education Requirements.” TalkPoint, TalkPoint, 31 May 2017,

“Education.” Global Partnership For,
“Home.” AHRC,

“How to Reduce Poverty’s Impact on Education.” World Education Blog, 20 Oct. 2011,’s-impact-on-education/.

“Improve Education.” Senator Gary Siplin,

Marte, Jonnelle. “Here’s How Much Your High School Grades Predict Your Future Salary.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 20 May 2014,

“What’s the Point of Education?” Global Education & Skills Forum Blog, 23 Feb. 2016,

Share this project
  1. April 26, 2018 by Young.Kim

    Hi Alexandra,

    I fully agree with you on how education is a priviledge that should be more importantly regarded. Often times I take it for granted, so this page really helped to give me a reality check. Online courses like GOA stand as proof to show how personalized education can benefit an individual.


    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Hi Young! Thanks for your comment! I also love GOA because it provides me with a great opportunity to learn more from students from around the world, thus broadening my lens!

  2. April 27, 2018 by Jenny Carlson Pietraszek

    alexandra – as an educator, you will not be surprised to hear that i support your findings, your call to action, and your focus on education as a powerful lever for positive change. a question: what about young people who are not motivated to work hard in school? should all students attend school even though some view it as an incredible opportunity while others view it as a chore they would much rather avoid? i hope we get to talk about this further.

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Hi Ms. Carlson! I would love to talk about this further. And to your question, I hope that this presentation would inspire those non-motivated students and show them that school is not a chore, and if not, then I still believe some education is better than none.

  3. April 27, 2018 by Sarah Mansour

    great job, alex! really inspiring

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thanks Sarah!

  4. April 27, 2018 by Judie schlager

    Unbelievable work and great ideas and thoughts.

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thank you Nana!

  5. April 27, 2018 by Joan Weinsten

    Great job Alexandra- interesting and thought provoking perspective!

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten


  6. April 27, 2018 by Robert

    Great work!
    Good job Alex!

    Uncle R

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thank you Uncle Robbie!

  7. April 27, 2018 by Brett Witherell

    Great job. I hope your message and project will help inspire the next Kim to grow and become a doctor someday.

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thank you Brett!

  8. April 27, 2018 by Scott Schlager


    I applaud your efforts. Targeting students themselves as the unit of analysis, rather than the educational system in general, seems like a worthwhile approach. Because of your advocacy, the next generation will surely excel.


    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thanks Scott! I am hoping that this unit of analysis will work for a better future!

  9. April 27, 2018 by Susan Gordon

    Great job Alexandra I fully believe and support your message. As an educator I hope you inspire and convince many others succeed in school! Very proud of you!

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thank you Susan! I still remember how much I loved working with you when I was little!

  10. April 27, 2018 by Katie Adams

    Great Job Alexandra! Motivating middle school students to focus on their education and to stay disciplined with studying, no matter what school they go to, is an empowering approach to assist today’s complex (and often negative) education debate. There are good teachers everywhere, and something to learn in every class. Reminding students of this is important, and your voice can lead this positive movement.

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thanks Katie!

  11. April 27, 2018 by Anonymous

    Hi Alexandra! You have definitely inspired me to turn off Netflix and start writing my paper, and I hope to help provide others with the resources they need to succeed.

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thanks! I hope your paper turns out great!

  12. April 27, 2018 by Beth

    Great job Alexandra! The statistics you share are so compelling, hopefully this video will inspire many students and adults alike!

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten


  13. April 28, 2018 by Chloe.Beittel

    Wow, awesome project! I agree that education is very important for succeeding later in life. As a student myself, I recently participated in a lobby day. 300 students from around the area I lived went to my state’s capitol to lobby our representatives to pass four bills we supported that will increase gun control. I realized after that day, that students have enormous power when they organize and advocate for a cause. Maybe an additional thing to your solution could be to start teaching kids at a younger age how to lead, organize, and advocate for things they are passionate about!

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Hi Chloe! That sounds super cool! And also, great suggestion, teaching kids lessons that go beyond the classroom are also very important to a student’s future (and a country’s future). Great addition!

  14. April 28, 2018 by Lisa

    Wow going to school can lead to a longer life …..amazing! Great job Alexandra! It sends a fabulous message !

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thanks Lisa! And yeah, I was surprised at that, too, but through research, it all came to make much more sense!

  15. April 28, 2018 by Andrea

    Way to go, Alexandra!! I applaud your efforts and the impact you are making! Be the change- and you are!! Brava!!

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thank you Andrea!

  16. April 28, 2018 by Heather

    Well done, Alexandra! My favorite part was the bubbles of information at the end. Also, as a visual learner, I really liked the way you used different color in your text in most of the slides. I think kids will respond positively to that, and of course, to your thoughtful analysis.

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thanks Heather!

  17. April 28, 2018 by Surumya.Bhargava

    Hi Alexandra! I love your project-this kinda of reality awaking is definitely something not everyone is exposed to or thinks about. Your video kinda of reminded me about a thing Lake Highland does every year, where our teachers tell us their “long and winding road” for how they got to where they are. nice!

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thanks Surumya! And that sounds so cool what your teachers do, I would be really interested if my teachers did that!

  18. April 29, 2018 by Michael Denning

    Way to go, Alexandra! This is great work. Thank you for sharing your research and video.

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thanks Mr. Denning!

  19. April 29, 2018 by Sophie

    This is so amazing! WOW!!!

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thanks Sophie!

  20. April 29, 2018 by Ayako Anderson

    When I was a student, I had almost zero appreciation for education … I worked hard because I had to. I came to appreciate the opportunity to learn when I went back to Graduation School as an adult. Being taught in a classroom is a gift, and all the expertise that your teachers and researchers offer you are simply a gem. I wholeheartedly agree with you on the enormous impact the education can bring to our future world, to a better tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your passion.

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thank you Ms. Anderson! Meadowbrook and Nobles have definitely helped me grow my own passion for learning, and through this project, I hope I can inspire others to do the same!

  21. April 29, 2018 by Ashley Sammann

    Great project, Alexandra! Your topic is so interesting. I really applaud you for targeting middle schoolers – I think that a really important part of education is simply building habits and learning how to study. If students can build up these skills before high school (when grades really matter the most), they are headed for success.

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Thanks Ashley! I decided on middle schoolers because I thought that is the most formative time while being a student, the time where one is able to make the most changes in study habits, learning styles, and other things. I hope that targeting middle schoolers will work and then help them to succeed in high school and beyond!

  22. April 29, 2018 by mark sheeran

    Fascinating project and very germane to what we all do as educators and to how students perceive the challenges they face. It is clearly a discussion which merits continued work on both ends. I thought the video and research were bothe very well done

    • April 30, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      Merci Mr. Sheeran! I hope this presentation can inspire both students and teachers to work hard and work together towards a better future. Nobles is already a great school with hard working students and faculty, and I only hope that continues to grow here and throughout the world!

  23. May 01, 2018 by Zoe Levy

    I loved your video!

    • May 02, 2018 by Alexandra.Weinsten

      thanks so much zoe!

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