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Student Comments

Below are Mountaineer Middle School students' comments about the presentation of Student Athletes Speak Out held on March 8, 2012. 
Speakers Sports Speech Titles
Vance Roberts Football Make Your Plans Big
Vance Roberts Football Twinhood
Quinton Spain Football Crossing Monkey Bars
Ishmael Banks Football A Brand New Ending

Dear Dr. Atkins:

1. I enjoyed your series of DVDs in my classroom. I learned that drugs can seriously affect anyone’s life; bullying can hurt people’s self esteem and to always care about your family. I think you should continue making DVDs with other student athletes.

2. I am writing to tell you how wonderful your students did with their presentations. I learned that speaking in front of a large group can be very challenging, but when you conquer your fear, it can get you farther in life. I do not have any suggestions for you. Your students did perfect. Thank you for sharing the students’ gift.

3. I am writing to inform you that I was very pleased with the speak out loud videos. In your speak out loud videos I am happy to let you know I learned a lot. I learned about drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, and becoming a good person. I suggest you keep up the good work. I also think you should try to reinforce the presentations. I thank you for your time and support to help teaching us.

4. I thought your movies and students were good. I understand Drugs are out there more and how to stay away. I would like if you brought your student in more often to talk to the students. Thank you for reading my letter.

5. I am an inspired 6th grade student. I am writing to express my appreciation to you for making the stories and advice of college athletes known. I am writing to tell you how much I admire your work. I learned how important academics are, and how important it is to follow your dreams. I understand many of the hazards found in school, and how to avoid them. I have no suggestions to you regarding how you produce these presentations. However, I do suggest that you continue to make them. Thank you very much for doing this.

6. I was very interested by your students’; presentation. I am writing to thank you and share my thoughts on them. The presentations and DVDs have taught me a great deal. I now understand more about how important speech and presentation skills are in life. They also showed me how an oral presentation sounds like when practiced and presented properly. I recommend having your students to more middle schools. It could really improve some students’ public speaking skills and devotion to academics. The presentations were done with much expertise and were truly inspiring. Thank you again for the splendid experience.

7. I am writing to you because of the presentations your students gave. They taught me that it is hard to have a family member with a disorder. I think that the student with that problem handled it very well. Everyone did an amazing job in their speech. It could not have been better.

8. I learned from the presenters that knowing your story and eye contact is important for a presentation. I also learned that a good story catches a crowd. I think you should keep doing what you are doing because it works. I also think that you do great when you teach not to use interrupters.

9. Your students did great! After listening to their stories, I now realize that it takes a lot more than a good application to get into a good college. I also realize how hard life can be. I really think your students did well and reached out to a lot of people. I’m sure a lot of people, including me, have realized how hard life can be for some people. I think you should take your students to all schools in Mon County every year.

10. I learned that you should always try to make some eye contact with who you’re speaking too. I also, learned how important writing and speaking clearly are. My suggestions for you are just to keep doing what you are doing but, maybe next time you can bring more students because I enjoyed the five you had. Thank you for coming, we appreciated it here at Mountaineer Middle School.

11. From your presentation with your students, I learned why you should stay away from alcohol and drugs. I now also understand why you need to produce and edit your writing, because I had to myself. The only suggestion I have for you is that next year you bring a great group as you have this year, and they have as good of speech as this year. Last I just want to thank you for the group you brought and your SASO videos you gave us. Once again thank you!

12. I learned that your students do not use fillers, such as like or umm, and make good eye contact. I had to present in front of the class, and I understand how hard it is. I think that you should keep everything the way it is. I thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the student athletes you brought in, including Joe Alexander. 
13. First I would like to say that I loved all of your students at West Virginia University’s speeches ( I would also like to state that they all made wonderful eye contact with us. We all know that it must have been very difficult to get up and read their speeches in front of us. I hope that you and your students can come back next year and do it again.

14. I learned to do what you can for your friends and family. Not to let what people say put you down. Most of all do not let your friend’s pressure you in to doing stuff that you do not want to do. Well what I think you should do is keep bring football players and other athletes to as many schools as you can. So other people can learn where some of the athletes come from and there life styles. I thank you very much and hope you keep doing what you do best.

15. I learned from your students’ presentations what it is like to go up in front of an audience and speak, although I was not the one up there. I could tell how nervous they were once they started talking. I understand now what it takes to actually go up there and speak. A few suggestions I have in mind are that you should have your students speak at different schools in West Virginia. I also think that your students are very brave. One last suggestion is that I think you should let your students pick their own topics to write about.

16. From the student and SASO presentations I learned that not every athlete had an easy childhood. I now understand that to be a successful person in life, I will have to work really hard. My only suggestion for you is to keep doing what you’re doing. Those speakers and their presentations were outstanding!

17. I learned about military school. I did not know about giving such an unusual punishment. I think you should have more variety in your speeches. You should include topics such as orphans and drug abuse, if possible. Also I could not hear well from the back of the room. Overall it was a lovely presentation and I could tell you put a lot of effort into it.

18. I thought your book showed a lot of wisdom, struggle and potential. I am writing this because I wanted to share my feelings for your book. I learned that some people just don’t have it as lucky as us. You taught me a lesson so, plain insight, but it is like it isn’t there, the lesson is to be grateful for the little things in life. I think that you and everybody else did a wonderful job, I don’t really have any suggestions. Thanks for the help!

19. I learned by their reading skills and reactions that they were nervous at first. I learned that you won’t be as nervous once you get into the text. I don’t have any suggestions because you did a very good job making them comfortable speaking in front of the whole entire sixth grade body. Thank you for coming to our school and teaching us that.

20. I am writing this letter to you about the presentation in the library a month or two ago. There was something I learned from that presentation and it was the childhood of the young men. It was a good idea also because the six graders now know what some people have to go and deal with everyday. Some suggestions were to try to bring athletes other than football. Also, have your students bring some humor to their stories. Bring it alive with the audience. Thank you for reading this letter and I’m hoping you agree with me.

21. I am very glad you came. I’m writing to express my thanks for having the presentations. Second, I’ve learned many things from their presentations and videos, such as stay in school or don’t do drugs, but most importantly don’t let anyone crush your dreams. The presentations were great but it was missing something. I think maybe next time you could bring athletes from different sports. Other than that it was wonderful. Thank you Dr. Atkins!

22. I learned that when you have a twin you don’t want to leave each other side. If one twin gets into a fight at school the other has your back. You can also blame the other twin. If you disobey the rules or don’t finish something you could end up marching around a box. Also, when you make a presentation you should know your material, make eye contact, and speak clearly. A suggestion I have is you should come visit with us more often and keep teaching you taught them well. Thank you for coming to MMS! I hope you come again!

23. I learned that even if you are on a college sports team you can still have these huge problems in your life. I also understand that sometimes it can be hard to deal with these problems. I suggest that you should continue educating people about what you do. Thank you so much for coming to my school. I loved the presentations.

24. First, I am going to tell you what I learned from it and that was to never give up. If you fail the first time, try try again. Don’t give up. When I was watching your presentation, I through it was well done. Thank you and have a great day.

25. From the presentations and the videos, I learned important lessons about life and always doing the right thing, even when it seems impossibly hard. I learned to stay true to others, and most importantly, to myself. I now understand that the presentations and videos were meant to teach us important lessons that we will need in life. Those students were extremely brave to stand up in front of us, and to speak about very personal things. I could not do that; I am terrified of public speaking. Although I heard most of the presentations that were, I could not hear all of them. Some of the speakers had soft voices. This was unfortunate, because I was very interested in what they had to say. This was a wonderful experience, and I am grateful that it was mine.

26. I learned a lot from you and the student athletes that you brought in for us. I learned that second chances are rare to come in life. So if you get a positive second chance take advantage of it. I do have a few suggestions for you. Maybe you should bring in some athletes who play different sports. Thank you for coming to my school.

27. I learned from these DVD’s about bullying, self-respect, respect for others, responsibility, and about the lives of some W.V.U student athletes. I now know how those student athletes feel when they do public speaking. Mrs. DeWitt, our English teacher, has us read journal entries to the class all the time. I do not have any suggestions to make your SASO DVD’;s any better than they already are. Thank you, Dr. Atkins, for showing others including myself the lives of those student athletes.

28. I learned that some athlete life is hard to live with things like parents on drugs and no parents at all. I know understand that it is hard to go to school and play sports when your life is hard. I thought everything was outstanding. Thank you for coming to our school and having some of your student athletes come in and talk to us about their lives.

29. I think that the presentations were good because I learned that no matter what you size is on what your athletic ability is you can get up and present something. My suggestion to you is that you should keep up with the program. I found it very interesting listening to the college athletes. I think every student group would benefit doing with these student athletes. It shows me that everyone has the ability to get out in front of a crowd.

30. I have learned about life experiences of the athletes, and also what could happen to anyone at any time. I now understand that in order to do any sport you have to maintain a good grade point average. I would like to conclude this letter by thanking you for you and the athletes for your time and effort for presenting to the sixth grade students at Mountaineer Middle School. I also have a few quick suggestions for future presentations:

Maybe bring girl athletes to the presentations and maybe bring some of the basketball players who write speeches. This is all of the suggestions I had. I would like to thank you again for coming. The presentations were amazing and very inspiring. I hope you come again.

31. Our class now understands how it is our responsibility to take advice from them and not to do drugs. The sixth grade class would like to help not to have lives like some of the athletes. Your presentation will help us and West Virginia.

32. I think you did a swell job on your presentation. It was great. The presentation was about sports players that struggle going professional. I learned that it is hard trying to be a professional sports player. You can’t just get in. You have to have good grades. I would suggest that you take sport players around the United States. I can only think of one suggestion for you. Thank you for showing us the presentation.

33. I very much enjoyed the presentations given by the student athletes. I could tell that each presentation took a lot of effort to write. I learned that everyone has his or her own important story to tell. Everyone goes through tough times sometimes, no matter who the person is. I also learned that it takes a lot of determination and hard work to achieve your dreams. I understand that taking the easy way is never a good choice. I also understand that it takes a lot of courage to stand up in front of a large group of people and speak. The presentations were organized well. Although, sometimes the speakers would let their voice trail off. Fortunately, they spoke clearly. Thank you for taking the time to arrange the presentations and reading this letter.

34. I had learned that most of the players didn’t have it so well, being around drugs and the father dyeing. I understand the environment they lived in. I don’t think you need to change a single thing. I would keep on teaching the same way because I heard them perfectly.

35. In your presentation you gave, I felt that I learned the importance of goals in life & how I should never give up on my dreams no matter what happens and that I should always push forward in life to achieve those goals. I think the presentation you gave was terrific and that all of the advice that was in the presentation could be great for all grade students. Thank you so much for your time!

36. To even begin to tell what I learned is complicated, because there is a lot. Simply I learned: that it is not about how or where you grew up, as long as you put your mind to it you can accomplish everything you want. To make your students’ presentations better, you might want to: teach your students’ to speak a little louder. At times, I could not hear what they were saying. Thank you so much for coming to our school, and letting us experience those speeches.

37. Based on the presentations, I learned that even if you don’t come from a pleasant family or childhood back- round that doesn’t mean your future will be the same. In all of the presentations that day, there was always a part in their memories where they were about to give up on whatever they were trying for. Nothing seemed like it would get any better, but they kept their heads up. They had the courage and just kept going for what they wanted to do, no matter what the conditions were. That was the main idea I learned that day. Overall the presentations were great that day! I was sitting in the back of the library and a couple of times I couldn’t make out some of the words the presenter were saying. I would remind all of your presenters to speak loudly (almost yell), speak slowly, and just have fun with their presentations! I always love to hear how a person got to where they are now. I would like to thank you very much for coming to our school and presenting! I really did enjoy it!

38. I have learned that life is more challenging than it seems, and that it is hard to overcome some obstacles. I now understand that it is hard to be a good public speaker since we had to give a report in front of the class. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to speak in front of a whole grade. I would suggest you continue preparing your students to be better public speakers and making your videos that I enjoyed. You do a wonderful job with those athletes and I hope to someday be one of your students. Thank you for getting your students to come to our school.

39. Out of the whole presentation I learned using drugs will mess up your whole life. Now from hearing some of my favorite athletes it makes me know not to do it because they have been through it. They never had fillers such as like or um. I have no suggestions for you or your students. Everything was wonderful. I can’t wait till I can go to WVU because I’ll be in your class. The best of luck to everyone, thank you for everything!

40. I am an A student, but I have always done just enough to get by. I learned from Ishmael just because it is enough now; it may not be enough later. I thought that all of the player’s stories were interesting but sad. They made me realize how fortunate I really am. One of our teachers showed us SASO and I was wondering if it would be possible if you could put more than one person’s story on each D.V.D, because it take class time to change discs between interviews. I hope you can come back soon.

41. On the topic of what I have learned is that no matter where you come from, as long as you’re willing to put the work into something, then you can accomplish your goals, and not to take your family for granted. Finally, on the topic of suggestions, I think you should bring more attention to people that don’t get a lot of attention.

42. During the presentation I learned the importance of good public speaking skills such as eye contact and enunciation. I understand that your job is to direct young adults in proper public speaking techniques. I think you’ve done a superb job helping these young athletes. The students you brought in demonstrated your hard work with their stories. Also, I felt that they connect with the audience very well. I suggest that you continue to direct these young athletes toward a successful public speaking career by simply continuing your hard work. Thank you for visiting our school. I hope to see you again.

43. I learned that it takes time to try to speak as fluently as they did. They were probably really nervous to speak to us. My suggestion to help make the presentations better is to bring girls and boys to the presentations. I loved the presentations, so I hope you come back. Thank you so much for coming.

44. I learned that during a presentation you should keep eye contact. I also learned that you should be comfortable with your presentation. I think the students are very lucky to have you as a teacher and that you are also an awesome teacher.

45. From your videos, I have learned that if you really believe in yourself you can conquer anything. I understand now that not everyone can grow up with a perfect life, but still they can be a phenomenal person. Next time, when you visit us, I think you should have interaction with us. Everyone likes to interact and play games. I would like to thank you for choosing our school for your presentation.

46. I learned many things throughout the presentation, such as the fact that just because these athletes are famous and recognizable, doesn’t mean that they have outstanding lives filled with just fame and fortune. Most of these athletes had to work hard, not only academically, but physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is just amazing how these athletes recover so well with their hard times in the past. I loved the fact that the athletes explained what they went through, so us sixth graders could learn from that. I believe that when kids around my age hear a personal story about someone else’s life, it speaks out to them much more than someone just saying it to their audience. Hearing it makes it more memorable. I hope that they continue to do so. Thank you so much for your time and for the presentation. I would love to hear another.

47. What I learned from the presentations is that some people have very difficult lives and that working hard and sticking with it can get you far in life. Plus, that you shouldn’t fall under peer pressure, because it’s not good doing drugs, smoke, and other things just because your friends do it doesn’t make it cool. Finally, I really don’t have many suggestions for you because I thought the presentations were very good. The videos you made are very good as well. Also I would prefer to see more of them. Thank you for coming to our school Dr. Atkins, have a great day.

48. While your students were speaking I learned about the importance of respect and moving forward. I was intrigued very much by your students. They spoke clearly and smoothly. I can tell that they have been working hard in your class. Your D.V.D’s are very interesting and educational. I suggest that you make more. I think many of the students here would enjoy watching more of them. Thank you very much for coming and bringing the students.

49. The players made it very clear how and what they had to do to be a good student and play sports at the same time. A question I have, is do you teach your class to students who aren’t athletes? I think you should write another book, because I am reading your book Great Unexpectations right now and it’s just a great book.

50. I learned that you don’t have to get new friends even if they do drugs and you don’t. All you have to say is I don’t want any and they will respect you for that. I also realized that not every child has an easy life. A lot of kids struggle in life. You taught me to be more considerate of others. I think you could make the presentations better by reviewing what your book is about a little bit more. Also you should bring more videos. I thought the videos were fabulous, but I think you should bring more. That way more people could watch them. Thank you for coming to Mountaineer Middle.

51. I learned lots of stuff. But, the most important to me was that when you try your best, you can do it. Even if you have a poor family, you can do it. I also learned that doing drugs of alcohol can lead you on the wrong path. I suggest you could improve the program by adding a hands-on activity. It would catch the interest to more kids. 
Thank you for the presentation.

52. I am writing this to you to talk about the wonderful student athlete’s presentations and the video of the athletes. I learned that you will get more accomplished in life when you learn to be good at speaking out in front of other people. Now I also understand that when you grow up living in poverty you can still turn your life back around because I always kind of thought that if you grow up poor you will most likely not be very successful. I said that because some of the students said that they were poor but then they started doing better. I loved the whole show and it was great but I also thought it could be better if you let some of the students at Mountaineer Middle got to come up and do something if they wanted to volunteer.

53. I am writing to thank you for coming to our school. Tell your students I am very grateful that they would give up their own time to present to us. I learned many things from the presentations. One thing was that nobody has a perfect life not even college or professional athletes. I first questioned whether or not it was rare to have a life so tough. I now should apologize. I now realize it’s not so rare. I truthfully do not know of any way to improve your program. Then again I am only twelve. One idea is to make the videos less formal. Thank you so much for dedicating your time to teach others valuable lessons.

54. I am writing because of what we learned. By the way we learned a lot. I learned that bullying, drugs, and alcohol can affect your childhood and later on in life. I learned that they are wrong and can affect others and you. My suggestion is to have more students come and talk to us. It was fun. Keep doing what you’re doing. Thanks, this helped me find even more wisdom.

55. I’m writing feedback of the great presentations. I was happy to learn about an athlete’s life off of the field or court. The students that presented were amazing speakers. I understand how intelligent it makes you look when you are speaking clearly and loudly, and not using fillers such as like. I suggest that you continue the same topic when you have your students speak because it was very interesting. Thank you very much for the opportunity to meet athletes and learning about them.

56. I am writing to tell you how much I enjoyed listening to you and your student athletes speak. I am a student athlete and someday want to be able to speak to the public. I learned a lot from the students’ presentations about their lives and their experiences. Now I have more understanding on how to give a presentation; for example make eye contact, speak loud and clear, and do not use fillers. There are a couple things that would have made the presentations more interesting. Since I am a girl I would have liked to hear from some female athletes. Also all of them played football and I would have liked it if some played a different sport. Thank you so much for coming to our school.

57. I am writing to you because of your students’ writing. They did a great job. I learned that good choices help you stay out of trouble. Also that staying in school helps you get a good job. Better jobs make you more money. Finally thank you for bringing your students to our school. They did well on the DVD as well. Once again, thank you.

58. I was at the presentation that your students gave at my school. They did very well speaking. I now understand that the speakers didn’t have an easy childhood. It was very inspiring how they pulled through it all and molded a bright future for themselves. As for their speaking, I was inspired with how there was no fillers when they spoke. Of course, being in middle school, I use and hear a lot of “like”and “uh” from my peers. Their eye contact was also spectacular. The only suggestion I have is that the students can use different tones throughout their speech so that it’s not just one flat tone. Thank you for sharing with our school.

59. I am a sixth grade student at Mountaineer Middle School hoping to tell you, Dr. Atkins, how greatly I appreciated your presentations. What I learned from your presentations is that a sixth graders, use need to speak clearly and to make eye contact. In your presentations we also learned not to do drugs and about responsibility. A suggestion that I have for you is not really anything because I thought that your presentations were great. One thing I thought is that they may have a little stronger language. Thank you Dr. Atkins for your presentations, they were wonderful.

60. As a sixth grader here at Mountaineer Middle School, I enjoyed having a chance to listen to your student athletes speak to us about their life experiences. They all spoke well, did not use fillers such as like, and they made consistent eye contact. I have learned how important it is to keep my grades up. I also learned when you lose someone or something you have to let go to be able to be able to move forward. Over all I think their presentations were excellent. I have no suggestions for you or your students for future reference. I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

61. I have entered the 6th grade this year. Some activities that I do are cheerleading, dance and soccer. When I grow up I would love it be in the medical fields. The presentations were very good. The athletes in your class spoke very clearly and dint use fillers. What I’ve learned about your students are about their lives. I would suggest some girls to present because I’m a girl and I would love to hear about their lives too. Also I would suggest the athletes did something other than play football. Thanks for coming and letting us hear your students present.

62. I was in the library when you brought the athletes in to speak to us. I’m writing to tell what I learned and to give suggestions. I learned that getting what you want doesn’t come easy. It really takes hard work to become successful. When “Big Q” came up and told us about his childhood, it made me realize how you can overcome hard times. I barely have any suggestions for you because the presentation was absolutely great. One suggestion is that you make more DVDs with more recent athletes. Thank you for coming.

63. I’m writing because I’m reflection on the presentation when you and the athletes came and talked to us. What I learned from when you came is most every great athlete that you hear about came from a family that can support them well. I now know from the athletes that came some of them did drugs or got in trouble. As long as you work hard and try not to do drugs you can do good in life. The suggestions that I have are I think it would be cool if they could wear their uniforms. Also if they have any rewards they have gotten in sports. Thanks for your time.

64. I am a sixth grade student at Mountaineer Middle School with high expectations. The ideas that I saw with you and the athletes really pursued me not to do drugs. I thought that all of the athletes in the videos may have had some rough times but battled through them. In the videos and presentations, I have learned that athletes may have rough lives. I thank you very much for coming to our school and let the athletes speak out to our school. In the presentations, I also learned that athletes can be big and strong. Honestly, I think that you did an amazing job. One thing that may need work is for the athletes to speak a little louder. Over all, I thank you for taking the time to speak to our school.

65. I admire all of your presentations and videos. I think all of your presentations have valuable lessons and are beneficial to all middle school students. One thing I noticed when you brought some of your students to my school that even know that had though situations they still made it to where they are now. I think that is important lesson. That lesson gives a lot of kids hope to make it to college. Thank you for coming to my school. You are inspiring to many people. I wish you could come back soon. I would also like to see more videos.

66. I was in the library when the athletes were there and it was awesome. When you were here I learned that life can be hard sometimes but it doesn’t mean someone’s life is going to end up bad. I also understood that their lives didn’t end being bad. You see my life isn’t going good but it might change for the better. Dr. Atkins I don’t have any suggestions for you it was awesome. Thank you for bringing the athletes.

67. It helped me to do a presentation on my own. I learned that life is not always easy. That what you set your mind to you can do it. I think you should bring some basketball players too. I would like for you to make more DVD’s please.

68. I want to thank you for coming to our school to talk about the students lives. I learned about the students’ lives. It took a lot of hard work for them to reach their goals. I learned to say no to drugs. I have some suggestions to help your students should wear their uniforms. Could they bring their rewards with them? They could bring examples of their writing. Thank you for all your hard work.

69. I am writing this letter because I wanted to thank you for brining your students into talk to us. I learned a lot from them. I learned a lot from your videos and the student’s presentations. I know it was hard for them. I know that I can do whatever I want if I just try. It took a long time to reach their goals. I have some suggestions for you to help your students. Talk in front of classes and standing instead of sitting. I know they were nervous but they need to try to speak louder. They should wear their uniforms the next time they come. Thank you for all of your hard work you have done for us.

70. I’m writing about the wonderful presentations that the football players gave to our school, and how I felt and what I’ve learned from them and their presentations. I have learned that a lot of people have a harder life than others, but they are able to grow up to be great people and have great lives. I suggest that your students could try to make more eye contact and should practice speaking in front of audiences, because I felt they were a little shy. Thank you for coming to our school, we loved having you and your students come to our school.

71. I am writing to tell you how much I enjoyed your presentation. I love anything that deals with basketball. With your presentation, I learned what it takes to be a good basketball player. I now understand a couple of real important facts. It takes a lot of hard work and practice. It is also important to have good grades. The presentation was so informative. I think you did a great job. There is nothing that I would change about it. All your hard work paid off. Thank you so much for all the information.

72. I learned that not all athletes had a perfect childhood. I also learned how drugs and alcohol can really mess up a person’s life. I think that you should make more videos and have the athletes express their opinion some more about drugs and alcohol, and about how it’s so important to stay focused on your studies and school. Thank you Dr Atkins, and to all the athletes that spoke out.

73. I think the presentations were annoying. It really got me thinking about other people’;s life. I learned about how much some things can impact your life. I learned about how much confidence and how much practice it took for all of the people to get up and make the speech. I think you should keep doing the topics you have been doing because it can relate to people my age. It also helped me get a look at what life will be like later on. Thank you for the time you took to read this letter. I hope it helps you in the past.

74. I am writing to explain what I liked about your visit. Also, what would make them better. Your idea to work with the athletes is great. It would be better if we had more time. Thanks for your time. Thanks for reading my letter. Also thanks for your students time.

75. I am writing about your appearance at our school in the library with some of your students. They learned well from you. The students are good speakers. From the presentation I learned that it is important to learn good public speaking. If you go to a job interview you need to know how to talk correctly because you want to get the job. From what I know you seem like a good person and teacher, you should keep it up. I think it was a great idea to the college athletes and teach them good public speaking. I wish I knew you better as a person. You seem like a really good person and teacher.

76. I’m Jared and writing to tell you what I think. The presentations were great! They look like they practice a lot. It seems as though they went through a lot as adults and kids. But still had fun with it. I now understand that, without self discipline, you won’t have a lot to offer in life. Without will power, you won’t be able to make it in life. You can’t just skid by. Those are important factors. I don’t recommend much. Actually, nothing at all. You’ve done a very well job! The students were very well prepared. You’ve done exceptional work. Good luck with next year’s students!

77. I enjoyed the presentations the athletes shared with us. I thought they were amazing. From the presentations I learned that it is important to try your hardest in school, make good choices, and follow your dreams. I understand that for a good presentation, it is important to speak clearly and make eye contact with the audience. You did a fantastic job teaching the students to speak publicly. They did not over use their notes. I could understand them well, and their stories and grammar were great. Thanks to you and the athletes for taking time our of your day to tell us your inspirational stories.

78. I had the honor of observing the assembly with the student athletes. I am writing to tell you how much I enjoyed the presentation you put together with the student athletes. They were very inspirational. I want to tell you how cool it was to see the student athletes speak out in front of us. I learned a lot during the student athlete presentations. I learned that working hard is so important. And I learned that of you keep trying, things will get better. The student athlete really showed us that if you have drive and ambition, you’ll get where you want to go. Overall, the presentations were great. It would be awesome if you did a lot more. The student athletes can really reach out to kids, and that’s what a lot of kids need. The way you had the stories presented was perfect. Thank you so much for the presentations. They’ve changed my outlook on a lot.

79. I wanted you to know that you have prepared your students well for public speaking. The stories that your students presented have touched the hearts of many of the students in Mountaineer Middle School. I have now learned how hard life can be. I also understand how hard it can be to present to a large group of people. My only suggestion that you may consider for future presentations is to make the presentation a little bit longer. Anyhow, it was phenomenal! Thank you for coming to our school; it allowed me to see life in a whole new way.

80. I’m writing about your program and how good it is to me. It is phenomenal. I learned how important it is to have good speech. Ever since I learned that it was so important, I haven’t said “like” to fill in my sentences very often. I plan on taking speech, why not to do it the right way. I know I want to learn how to speak fluently! My only suggestions are to make more SASO videos and come back to MMS. We love to hear the athlete’s speeches! Thank you for your time reading these essays.

81. I am writing to you about the presentation you gave at our school. To be honest with you I thought it was good. I learned that everyone does not have an easy life. What I learned is to be nice to people. People need to be kinder to people who have had a tough life because they have feelings too. I feel a connection to the football players because they probably got picked on as a kid and so did I. I think next time you come to our school it would be great if you brought in more football players and the mountaineer. I also think you should bring in different athletes that play different sports. If you like my ideas I would really like that.

82. I am reflecting on the presentations that the student athletes presented to us in the library. I am going to tell you what I learned and what suggestions I may have for you. I learned a lot from the presentations. I learned about the different backgrounds that the student athletes come from. I also learned that I want to take your class as a student athlete when I go to college. The only suggestions I have for you and your students is maybe next time you go to a middle school have them write about their experiences in middle school. I thought you and your students did a wonderful job. Thank you for coming to Mountaineer Middle School.

83. You had come to my school with the four college athletes. A lot of the students here at Mountaineer Middle enjoyed the presentations. The sixth grade would like to thank you and students for coming and reading their presentations in front of the entire sixth grade. Most of the students at school would be scared to share stories and give presentations. I know that it would extremely hard to get me to do that. I enjoyed all of the presentations, and hope to hear more presentations. I hope I might get your class in the future. The presentations were the best part of that day. Some students still talk about the athletes to this very day. Everyone I talked to that day said it was a good day because of the presentations. I thank you for coming to Mountaineer Middle.

84. I am writing because your athletes told me something that means a lot to me in the presentation that they gave. I enjoyed when the athletes gave their speeches. They taught me that I should no quit on my dreams the athletes had families that fought but they still succeeded with their dreams. That means if they can everyone else can. Dr. Atkins you can bring in different students in next year.

85. I am writing to you because I would like to tell you how well your students did on the videos and when they came to Mountaineer Middle School. The life stories of your students were amazing. I was surprised that a lot of athlete’s lives were not easy. I noticed that your students almost never used fillers. Thank you so much for letting us experiences your expertise of teaching your students how to speak.

86. I am a student at Mountaineer Middle School and why I am writing to you is about the presentations told and what I learned from public speaking. I understood and learned the messages and information from the college student’s presentations, but also I enriched from the presentations to always speak clearly and loudly, make eye contact, and dont use fillers. Some suggestions I have for you is to change the problem about how your students were all boys on the football team. Maybe next time they could be different sports they play or gender. Also there was another problem because in some presentations not everyone in the room could hear them. Thank you for coming to our school to present. I appreciated your time and students’ presentations.

87. I enjoyed the presentations your students did for Mountaineer Middle School. Your students seem to be working hard and seem to be doing well with your teaching. I understand that your students have been through a lot, now that they presented to MMS. I also learned that you can’t tell a person from what they look like or if they play a sport, because you never know what their background is like. I have no suggestions for you Dr. Atkins. I think your class is hard-working and determined, and so are you! Indeed though, I do have a couple questions. Are there any girls in your class? Do your students have class every day? Mountaineer Middle is greatly thankful to you and your students. Thank you for your time.

88. I am a sixth grade student, and someday I would like to be an author. I enjoyed listening to the athletes speak about their earlier years. I also enjoyed the SASO videos. I learned not to immediately label others based on stereotypes. Not all athletes have an impeccable past, and now I know. A suggestion of mine is that they need to use less “fillers”; and make more eye contact. I am very thankful that you chose my middle school, and I am appreciative for what you taught me.

89. I’m a student at Mountaineer Middle School who would like to take some of your time to talk about the superb job that your students did. Your students did a very good job of explaining what their lives are and were like. I could tell that all of them were coming from very different lives. They all struggled in their loves some time in their lives. I would suggest that you keep doing a good job with your students and keep pushing your students to work. You are doing a great job. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

90. I am writing to you in order of reflecting on the presentations that your students have presented to us and also to notify you on your students extraordinary job. In the presentations I learned that participating in the act of using alcohol and illegal drugs is wrong and may affect my athletic abilities. The presentations also stressed me more to achieve better grades and I feel that I have academically improved greatly. I think you had a great variety of athletes speak, I greatly appreciate that fact.

91. I’m writing to you about the presentations that your student athletes presented to me and my fellow classmates. I learned that when giving a presentation it is important to make eye contact, speak clearly, and not to use any fillers. I now understand what you need to perform a good presentation. Some suggestions I have for you is to work with the students on their struggles. For example, during the presentations, I noticed one student didn’t make as good eye contact as the others did, or one didn’t speak loud enough. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this.

92. I am writing to you because I want to reflect back on the presentations your students gave about one or two months ago, and give feedback. When the students gave their presentations, I felt and saw their mixed emotions. I learned that not every athlete had a perfect life growing up. I also learned that no matter how large or athletic you are, public speaking can be scary. It’s harder than it looks. I have a few suggestions for you. I think it would be a great idea to bring your students out to schools more often. They would get younger reactions from a younger audience, thus prepping them for more mature crowds. Thank you for coming to our school.

93. I was wondering if you would bring in different athletes each time you come and do a different presentation. I have learned to not back down on try my hardest to fight for what I want and for what I need. I strongly suggest that you bring in different athletes each time you do the presentation. Thank you so much for the video presentation.

94. I am writing this letter because I wanted to tell you what I learned from the presentations and what I now understand about them. I learned a lot from the presentations that the students read. I know a lot about the students from when they were a child to now. I also know what they like as a kid and I know a lot of other stuff about them. I now understand what sport they play and what they like to do. I have some suggestions for you, the first one is to have another presentation next year but have different people. The second one is to have more students talk about themselves. Well thank you for the presentations at our school.

95. I am writing this letter to say that the stories from the students you brought in were great. They did a very good job with their presentations. I learned from the presentations that some people had hard times with being bullied and more. If I were being bullied or something else I would want someone there for me. You should keep up what you are doing now. It is a good and you should not change it. I want to thank you for reading my letter and for providing us with the wonderful presentations.

96. I am 12 years old and in the 6th grade at the school. I am writing to you to talk about your presentation that you gave out school. I learned a lot from your presentation that you gave our school. I now know that the people in this all went through some kind of hardship in their life. And for a lot of them scholarships at WVU mean fulfilling dreams, and having a more secure future. I also have some suggestions for you too. My friends think it would be nice if you had more girls in the programs so then maybe we would be able to relate better. We also think that the people that are giving the presentation should talk more about the sport they play, but overall the presentation was very good. Thank you very much for coming to our school.

97. I am writing to tell about what a great learning experience I had when your people came and presented to us. I think they did very well on knowing the material and having good eye contact. From the presentations I have learned that if you make eye contact with your audience and you know your material you will have better grades when you present. I think that you could get some girls to compare if they have similar stories. Also you should come again and make more DVDs. Thank you for giving us your time.

98. I am writing about what learned and a suggestion. I learned that I have it surprisingly easy and I should appreciate what I have. I had one suggestion, and that is to get them a microphone. Thank you for coming to our school. I had fun, and I got to miss a little of my health class.

99. I am writing to you about the SASO videos and speeches your students gave at our school. I learned many things from your students, but here are some things that really stood out to me. One thing that I notices is how Vance and Vernard are twins and don’t annoy each other. I think that was really special and I learned that having siblings isn’t always bad. I also learned a lot about diseases that different athletes’ family members had in the SASO videos. Really I think you did a lot right, so I really don’t have any suggestions. Some of your students didn’t speak very clearly. That’s all I could tell. I sincerely thank you taking time out of your busy day to come to our school.

100. I like to play sports and be with friends and family. What I learned from the videos and is that a lot of the athletes did drugs or got into trouble. Some of the athletes came from a family that did drugs. Their family and friends encouraged them to play sports and do other activities. I think it would be cool if you could bring more athletes to our school, to give their speeches. I really enjoyed them come to our school. Thank you for coming to our school and bringing them. I really enjoyed hearing their childhood stories.

101. I am a student at Mountaineer Middle school who hopefully has a promising future. I am writing to a very well educated doctor at West Virginia University because I wanted to tell you my point of view on the presentations. First the twins were a riot and are still talked about today. I believe you should make your students write 2 stories just so I can hear the wonderful adventures they have. I learned that every person has a story and every story has an aspect of life. I have come to the understanding that the twins despite their advantages to always have someone by their side have a similar life mater like the common person they go to school, make friends, get sick, and ?? win the lottery. They are truly twins in the aspect of sight but they are unique in their own way. I do not have any suggestions for you, Doctor Atkins. I found your presentations very nice. Thank you for your time Dr. Atkins.

102. I am a sixth grade student at Mountaineer Middle School, and I am writing to express my feelings about the SASO program. I learned from the video that it is good to restate the question being asked. I used to think it was only necessary to restate when writing, but I noticed that almost everybody was restating. I also learned that giving examples is very important. I suggest that you have two people in the same video discussing the same topic so students get more than one perspective. Thank you for bringing the students to our school and good luck with your work in the future.

103. My name is Alyssa. I am a sixth grader from Mountaineer Middle School and I would like to write to you to talk to you about you and the team when you came in. What I learned from you coming in was that everybody can have stage fright. I hope I’m in your class one day if I still have stage fright really bad. I could see when you and those boys try your hardest. I think those boys are doing a great job in their class. This class must do more than help them with stage fright it must build your self confidence because you guys work so hard. If you don’t mind I have a suggestion for you. It is that you should bring them out more places like Mountaineer Middle School. That would give them more practice with crowds. That was the only suggestion I have. The rest you did great. I really want to thank you for coming because it let me learn a lot. Thank you so much for coming.

104. I’m writing feedback about the team’s speeches and videos. I could relate to big “2.” I recently lost my dad in February. My whole world fell apart, just like big 2’s. His story inspired me to write this letter and I learned to love again. The presentations were great and I loved them. My suggestions are to keep coming back!

105. I am Chris from Mountaineer Middle School and the best one that I loved was the football presentation. I like it because I was bullied all the time this year and it got me out of sports. He was my 2nd best player on the team that year. I learned to keep my head up all the time. When you get bullied just go with it till it stops. Then if that didn’t work then go to an adult or any other adult. Dr. Atkins should do a lot of other presentations. It would teach other kids to do better things. It would also teach other kids really good lessons. I really loved the presentations that you did Dr. Atkins.

106. I was one of the many students in sixth grade that attended the presentation. I was overwhelmed with the presentations given. I felt that they did great and that you had taught them well. In this presentation I learned that sometimes things get rough but when they do you have to push through it. I can understand why they are giving us these presentations. They are helping me understand more about life and how times are and I think you should keep teaching them. You should bring them to schools more often. I thought they did great. You taught them well. Thank you for coming to our school.

107. I am a sixth grader at Mountaineer Middle School that recently participated in listening to your students presentations. I am writing to inform you about my aspect of the presentations. I never really thought about life as a twin, but now that you, with the help of your pupils, have brought it to my attention I am quite interested. The videos made a positive effect on me. I have one suggestion for you. You should sell the t-shirts that the athletes wore in the videos. I know my class would buy them. I would like to thank you for presenting the videos and presentations to us.