Zest, Grit, Self-Control make a Successful Champion

June 27, 2014

by S. Aaron Shamshoyan

Nearly 75 members of the Boys & Girls Club were honored Tuesday for their dedication and excellence to club programs, with one member receiving an extended honor.

The Russell F. Ingram Award for Excellence in Programming, given the name of the club’s largest financial donor, was presented to Edward Graziano.

“The award is given to a Club member who staff wants to acknowledge for embracing life-enhancing programs, community service, and character development experiences,” said Director of Development Denise Dolloff.

Superintendent of Salem Schools Michael Delahanty spoke on what it means to be a champion, and earn the awards presented.

“They try hard, they work very hard,” he said to recipients, adding, “There’s still a lot of work that you need to do.”

Being a champion requires learning from parents, teachers, and mentors, Delahanty said, and even adults strive to be there best.

“We’re kids at heart, we all love a challenge, and we all find success very motivating.”

Delahanty said three qualities were needed to achieve success as a champion, zest, grit, and self-control.

Zest is an enthusiasm for life, and the ability to share joy.  “Others want to be with you if you have zest for life,” he said.

Grit is the capacity to work on something even when it’s hard.  “Even if you fail, you get back up and continue.”

Self-control is being a light, being responsible, doing what you are asked to do and helping out, Delahanty said.  “A person with self-control makes good choices, good decisions,” he said.

Delahanty spoke to parents saying they can help children develop these qualities.

“I encourage you to be interested in whatever it is you find interesting,” he said, noting a person does not have to be particularly interesting to share an interest in something.  “All of us can be interested,” he said.

Delahanty encouraged students to pursue the three qualities to find success in life.