Each year, Young Playwrights send selected students to a week long leadership conference at UCLA in partnership with The LEAP Foundation, Inc. The conference is designed to teach leadership skills to participating students, aged 15 to 24, in small groups under the guidance of the conference faculty and individual coaches - whereby they will develop fundamental tools that are integral to creating success in their life.
This year our Matthew Stuski Scholarship recipients are three current and former PYP Youth Council members: Faith Jones Jackson, Nikhila Viswanathan, and Ming Jiang.
One of the components of the conference requires attendees to write a speech that they will deliver in front of an audience. This frightened one of our scholars to the point where he was about to reject the scholarship offer. Meet Ming. A 2015 Young Voices Monologue Festival winning playwright (Who Are You) and recent Chinese immigrant who sought the assistance of PYP staff members to cultivate his speech delivery skills. After rehearsing for three weeks, Ming found his confidence and perseverance to deliver his speech in front of small audience here in our new office. READ MORE for Ming's motivational speech and be sure to check our blog page for updates on LEAP 2015!
Failure Can Not Be Defined By Its Definition
by Ming Jiang
In my fifth month of being in America, I applied to a summer program called Philadelphia Futures. Because of my language barrier, I failed the interview and was not selected. But instead of getting stuck in it, I got over it, and am able to stand here making this speech. The reason why I can overcome the fear of failure is because I realized how I view the failure will affect my path to success. I had two options after that: be upset, and overcome by fear, and therefore never try again so that I wouldn’t fail. Or, be upset, and face the problem I had, then remember the feeling of failure, and let it motivate me to get better, and try other programs again and again until I succeeded. To be honest, I struggled with these two options so much, but I knew it would be the turning point of my life. I told myself that I wanted to come out with flying colors instead of being a timid turtle hiding in its shell, so I made the second choice. Because of it, I gradually realized how to view failures from different perspectives.
Some say the opposite of success is failure but I think failure is actually the most close to success. In other words, success is made of millions of small pieces of failures. We know that before a baby learns how to walk, they had to fall a million times, because by falling, we learn to go safely. Failure hits a nerve that reminds us of the mistakes we made, and moves us in to another direction of life.
Failure is an essential element of our lives. It is impossible to live without failing, unless you never try anything. And that cannot be called a life. If you asked me what the key to not failing is, I would tell you to fail again, and stand up, move forward, and fail again… The day you think you won’t fail next time is the day you succeed!
Don’t be afraid of failure, hold your failures up to the light of reason, and view them in a different way. Think of this, you should be proud of yourself because you survived after failure, and you will realize that you are stronger than you thought!
Special thanks to the Stuski Family for their continued investment in our young leaders!