Dare to dream…

Last year was the first time I attended the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) annual gala. Some of you might remember that I blogged about it, about the inspiration that came with that evening. Yesterday, NFTE held its 2011 Dare to Dream gala. Just as in 2010, I was re-inspired, re-energized, moved to tears. And yesterday, I was also honored as a locally-grown entrepreneur. It was a magical evening. An evening filled with amazing students, teachers, and entrepreneurs. An evening filled with great friends. An evening filled with soundbytes. Here are some of my favorites.

“We can educate our way to a better economy.” Julie Kantor, the Executive Director of NFTE DC Region

“I have an MBA. A Masters at Being Amazing.” Also by Julie Kanto

“Entrepreneurs can do anything with persistence, perseverance, and passion.” Edie Fraser, Diversified Search Odgers Berndtson

“Your first business may fail, but that doesn’t mean that your second, or third, or fourth won’t be successful.” Aaron Batallion, Living Social

“No fear. There is no reason to fear.” Michelle Lee, STG International

“Hire for attitude over smarts. Attitude is everything” Mark Michael, Occasions Caterers

“The person who says it can’t be done shouldn’t interrupt the person who is doing it.” Seth Goldman, Honest Tea

The keynote address was by Rodney Walker (pictured below with his Alchimie Forever goodie bag). The entire video presentation of his journey was so powerful and moving it is impossible to capture it in a soundbyte. I saw seasoned business men discreetly wipe the corners of their eyes (I was doing the same, less discreetly) as he spoke of overcoming drugs, homelessness, poverty, with the help of NFTE. Rodney inspired me to do more with NFTE, and today I re-iterate the commitment I silently made last night to play more of a role in the life of these young students. As soon as I stop typing, I will be calling my girlfriend Minal, who is the one who introduced me to NFTE a few years ago, to make this commitment a reality. Once again, thank you NFTE.

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