By Claire Salem Once there was a girl who wanted to become a baker. But she kept on failing. She kept telling herself, “I can do it. I am not a failure.” She kept on baking, because she loved to bake. She never gave up. One day, her mom asked her, “Why don’t you do a bake sale? Your deserts are great.” She said, “I will try.” She tried her hardest and when the bake sale came, everyone loved her deserts and wanted to buy more. She was so happy. She grew up to be a professional baker. She convinced everyone not to give up on their dreams.
By Jimmie Shrem One day, Avi enrolled himself into a tennis tournament. He practiced for days only stopping for food and sleep. The day of the tournament, Avi felt confident that he could win. As the tournament started, Avi started to feel very nervous. He saw that all the other opponents were much bigger than him. He lost his first match, and his second, and his third. Soon he was out of the tournament. The next day his friend Joey asked him if he wanted to play tennis. Avi responded with, “Why bother? I’m no good!” Joey answered, “Don’t give up! If you want I can practice with you.” They practiced; Avi enrolled into another tournament and came in second place.
By Hiram I have a goal to be the best chazzan. It didn’t work out so well. In shul I was chazzan and the rabbi was fixing my mistakes. I had a bunch of mistakes and I got embarrassed. The next week I was chazzan again. I made fewer mistakes and I felt much better.
By Jacob Tawil “Slip!,” Pete fell again. He lost the ice hockey game for his team. After the game, the whole team wanted Pete off the team. Pete was so sad. So, he quit, because he did not want to be on a team when he was not welcomed. The next day, a kid from the team came to Pete to tell him to come back on the team. He told Pete that he should not quit just because he made a mistake. He should learn from his mistakes instead. Pete decided to come back on the team. At the end of the game, Pete got the game’s winning goal. His whole team congratulated Pete. He learned a valuable lesson: Never give up.
By Sam Cohen I wanted to be a good cook. But, when I served my food, I could tell people didn’t like it. I asked them what was bad about the food. They told what they didn’t like about it. I took their advice and the next time I cooked it was much better.
By Joe Ades There was once a person who loved to run in races. His dream was always to be in the Olympics and to come in 1st place. He never ran a race but he told all of his friends that he is going to win, and that he is the best runner. The next day there was a race. He was ready and confident that he was going to win. He raced with all of the kids and he came in last place. He was heart broken and very embarrassed because he told everyone that he would win, but he didn’t. The next race he didn’t show off and he got new running shoes. He practiced for 3 weeks until the next race. Before the race he saw the best racer in the world lose. He got motivated from that because he thought to himself, “If that person can lose, than obviously I can too.” He raced in the next race and he won!
By Steven Sutton The buzzer sounds and the game is over. The team starts saying hateful things at you. They lost and it was your fault. How will you feel? Probably pretty badly. But, that isn’t a reason to give up. Practice makes perfect. Next time come out stronger and don’t be nervous in the same situation. Try your best and you will be fine.
By Moshe Lati Who knows that moment when there are 3 seconds of the game and your team is counting on you to take the game’s winning shot? Well I do. I had the ball in my hands and I was so nervous. The one thing I was thinking was let’s say I made the shot, the whole crowd would be going nuts! But, I also thought lets say I missed that shot, my whole team would be screaming at me or they will never trust me to take the last shot. I had the ball with 3 seconds. I shot…and I missed. My team didn’t scream at me. They told me, “Its ok. We all make mistakes. People learn from their mistakes.” I felt good, really good. But, now, the second time, are my teammates are going to trust me to take the game’s winning shot? I am not going to be scared or nervous. I am going to be strong. The truth is when you’re nervous; you’re most likely to screw up. But, if you stay strong and believe in yourself, I guarantee you’re going to succeed. Failing at something is good because you learn from your mistakes and that is what makes you succeed.
By Shoshana Dweck Everyone has a goal that they want to achieve. Ruth has always dreamed of being a ballerina. She asked her mother if she can take ballet classes. Her mother signed her up. The day after her first ballet class, Ruth had bruises all over body, and skin tears on her feet. When she went to school, all of her friends made fun of the way she looked. They made fun of the fact that she took a ballet class. The next week, she forgot about her friends’ comments and the bruises that hurt, she danced her heart out. At the end of the course, when the Ballet show took place, she was the star of show. At the end of the show everyone complimented her about how wonderful she danced, including her friends. Never give up on your dreams. If you work hard enough, they will come true.
By Eddie Catton During my first time ice skating, I fell tons of times. I really wanted to start playing ice hockey. After my first time ice skating, I felt very frustrated. But, I thought to myself, every professional was once a beginner. All these famous players in the professional leagues all had a start. And they kept on trying and never gave up. So, the next time I went skating, I tried my hardest not to stay frustrated. Then, I started to skate like a natural! I learned a great lesson that day. At first, things might be hard for you to do, but never give up on them.
By Dona Huppert One day in class we were learning integers for the first time. My teacher was asking very tricky question. I was scared to be called on because I wasn’t sure of my answer. My teacher called on me and I got the question wrong. I felt so embarrassed. I felt like I was going to burst out. My teacher said it was ok to get something wrong because “You will learn from your mistake.” But, that didn’t help. Later in the day, I told my mom what was wrong. She said, “You should work on fixing your mistake. That night, I worked really hard. The next day in math, the teacher asked the same questions. I raised my hand and I got it wrong. I was even angrier than the last time. I went home and I told myself, “I could do it again and get it right.” The next day, my teacher asked it again and I got it right. I was so happy. I learned, when you fail, you have to start fresh and be confident.
By Linda Sasson
One day I wanted to try to play baseball with my friend. I started to throw the ball up in the air and I tried to hit it but I missed. I kept trying to hit the ball but it was no use, because I kept missing. My friend said, “Give it up. You’ll never be as good as me.” After she said that, I felt really bad. And I believed that I wasn’t going to be as good as her. Then, every day after school, I went outside and my dad pitched to me. I did a little better because I got one hit, but it didn’t go so far. The next day, I went outside again to practice. I hit the ball up into the trees. I was jumping up and down because I got such a good hit. I ran and gave my dad the biggest hug and thanked him for making me so good at basketball. I learned from that to never give up because everything is possible.
By Juliet Nasar Abigail’s dream was to get into Harvard Law School. She was very smart. When it came time to take the SAT’s she was very nervous. She was so nervous, that she couldn’t think straight and got a very bad mark. She was very depressed. Some time later she took the SATs again. This time she learned that she shouldn’t be too nervous. So, she took a deep breath and began the test. This time she got a very good grade and is now in her third year of Harvard Law School. This story shows that you should never give up and learn from your mistakes.
By Adele Saka Miriam was on stage overcoming her stage freight. There were about 100 people watching her as she just stood there. She tried letting her voice out but nothing came out. She stood there until the backstage crew had to come out to get her and apologize to the audience. Months later, after Miriam had taken more lessons and performed in front of her family and small audience, she went back up on the same stage, except this time she was stronger. As she sang the last word there was not one person sitting and not clapping.
By Rena Chaiklen You have an assignment in one of your classes to write a story. You have a really great idea and work very hard to write it. When you get to school the day that it’s due, you are very confident and happy with your story. You go around showing it to everyone and telling them to read it. When you hand it in, you tell the teacher, “I think I did well.” When you get it back, you get a very bad grade. Everyone is very happy with their grades and is asking you what you got. You tell them, sadly, that you did badly. And you’re very embarrassed. The next time you get assigned to write a story, at first you’re upset, because last time you did badly. When you get home instead of just writing anything, because you think you’re a bad writer, you put your all into the story. You do things differently than you did before, and you come up with a better story. This time you get the highest grade.
By Nechama Mandel There was a girl named Malka. She was running in a marathon. In this marathon you had to run 5 miles in 2 hours. Last year, Malka tried to pass one girl. She was running so fast, that Malka slipped and fell. Everyone was laughing at her. This year she was thinking about not running. But, then she realized that she can run. She decided that she would just pay attention this time and not focus on one girl. In the middle of the marathon she was in 2nd place. She really wanted to pass that girl, but she remembered what happened last year and just continued running. All of a sudden, the girl got tired and started slowing down. Malka realized it and started running a little faster. Before she knew it, she passed the girl and got to the finish line in first place.
By Breindy Ovitsh Adina was a very good artist. She loved to draw. It was her life. When she was younger she took lessons and now she was an expert. After a few years she wanted to be in a big competition. She practiced so hard, until her art was perfect. Soon the big day arrived. Adina was very nervous. A flashback came back to her. She remembered that day, that very bad day. Her face turned red just thinking about it. She made a mistake, a very bad one. Her painting turned into a disaster. For many months she didn’t want anything to do with art. She was feeling very depressed, down and sad all at the same time. But now she wanted to face her fears and get stronger. Bring her goal to life. After the competition she was holding a big golden medal. She was a winner. She tried, she failed. She tried again, she won. Failure can’t stop you, be strong and win!
By Maya Zabari Once, my friend had to memorize a monologue for a school play. She worked really hard, but when the time came she forgot the words. She stumbled over her lines and finally everyone laughed her off the stage. The next time there was in a play, she didn’t want to do it, because last time she got embarrassed. I told her, that she can’t give up. If it doesn’t work the next time, keep trying. Be true to yourself. If you really enjoy acting or singing or dancing or anything else, don’t give up on it.
By Sophia Rofe Rachel’s goal was to become a great actress. One day Rachel was invited to do the play, “Romeo and Juliet”. Rachel practiced for months for this play and now it was finally here. She went on stage and started to say her lines. Right before intermission everyone applauded. During intermission Rachel decided that since she did so well, she didn’t really need to practice her lines anymore. When the play was back on it was Rachel’s lines. She said a few lines, but then she messed up. After Rachel messed up her lines, she tried again, but failed. Then, Rachel ran off the stage. A few months later she was asked to perform in the play “Shakespeare.” When she received this message, at first, she didn’t want to enter. But, then Rachel realized, in life you only fail so that you can try again. The lesson here is that you should never give up, even if you fail terribly, you should always try again.
By Maya Zabari One woman in her late 20’s wanted to become a teacher. Her model lesson was math (algebra). She tried as hard as she could but the principal in the back didn’t like the way she taught. Even though she knew how embarrassed she got she tried again at a different school. She tried her hardest to be the best teacher she could. At the end of her lesson she nervously followed the principal into her office. Before she even knew it, she was the next teacher of the honor class.
By Moshe Lati In order to live a happy life you need to be successful. Successful is when someone who had an embarrassing moment or experience in their life, but is still trying, someone who is no giving up. Who forgets about the past and starts fresh, a person who learns from his mistakes and tries again the second time, with confidence. For example, Sara has a goal to be a singer. She believed that she will be a good singer. But, when she was performing she saw so many people staring at her. She forgot the song. But did she give up? No. Later on there was another performance. She learned the song and learned from her mistakes. She started fresh, new and was confident in herself. That’s what I call a winner – a person who keeps on pushing and pushing until they get it right, a person who gets up when she falls.
By Abe Mavorah My goal in life is to become an awesome basketball player. I really want to be like Lebron James. Even though I miss a lot of shots, I keep on trying to reach my goal, so I can become successful in life. If Lebron misses a shot he still tries harder every time he gets the ball, just like I do. The only thing that Lebron did that I would never do is drop out of high school. If he misses a shot his teammates might get mad, so he ignores them, just like if my teammates get mad I ignore them.
By Margo Chabot Allison’s goal is to be an artist. Allison and her friend take an art class. They were painting a sunset. Allison’s sunset came out horrible. Everyone’s art work was so much better. The art teacher said, “You have to practice at home.” The next art class, they were still working on sunset. She practiced at home many times. Allison’s art was even worse. She said, “Next time, I’m not going to fail.” Everyday, after school she practiced for one hour. She didn’t have a doubt that she isn’t going to fail. The next art class, the teacher said her sunset was much better. When they started a new drawing, it was a fruit. Allison did the fruit excellently, not one mistake. Her friend was so proud of her and so were her parent and teacher. Allison realized she was putting so much pressure on herself, that’s why it was not coming out nice before.
By Bracha Seror Chana was about 6 years old when she was learning how to ice skate for the first time. She was doing well, but not as well as her sister. When she got home from practice she was telling her neighbor how well she was ice skating. When her sister overheard it she said, “You don’t ice skate, you walk on ice.” Chana was very embarrassed in front of her neighbor. But she still practiced and now she is even faster than her sister.
By Yocheved Nussbaum Shevy was very excited. She was at the edge of the race track ready to start running. The moment the whistle blew she was off running with all her might. She was in 3rd place, now she was in second, now she was in first. She could feel the wind rushing behind her as she thought to herself, “I must win.” She was almost at the finish line. She was going to win. When suddenly she tripped and fell. She could feel the blood rushing up to her face. She saw all the other runners going ahead of her. She was last. She had lost. Everyone was laughing at her. She thought to herself I am never running a race again. “But then,” she thought, “If I give up, I will never succeed.” She thought to herself, next summer I’ll practice even harder. Next summer she won.
By Adeena Jaffa There was a girl, Tamar. Every Motzei Shabbos she went to play basketball. While playing someone threw ball at her. She didn’t know what to do! Oh, no! So she tried shooting it into the hoop and missed. After that the game ended. Everyone was shouting, screaming and embarrassing her. They said, “Why are you so bad at basketball, we don’t want you on our team.” She went home and cried to her mother. The whole week she practiced. She actually thought she has a chance at winning. The next week came and she said, “I am going to win this for my team.” Right when the game started, she stole the ball from the other team. She dribbled towards the hoop. She heard her team mates shouting over and over, “Go Tamar!” She was very happy. All of a sudden without her noticing, the other team got the ball. Oh, no. So, she went, and got it back. She made the winning shot. Yay! Her team won, all because of her last shot that broke the tied score.
By Esti Schorr Naomi got picked from the whole school to speak at her school assembly. She worked really hard by making the speech and practicing. The night of the assembly came. She was so excited. She was in the middle of the speech and all of the sudden her mind went blank. Everyone started to giggle and laugh. Naomi felt like sinking in to the floor. But she thought how hard she worked and practiced day and night. She was not going to give up now. She tried to remember the speech and it came back to her head. All of the sudden she remembered it. She finished her speech and everyone cheered and clapped. She was picked again for the assembly the following year. This time she didn’t forget her lines.
By Chana Leah Markowitz Once up on a time there was a girl named Goldie. This is a fascinating story that happened to her in the summer time. Goldie is 14 years. She wanted to apply for a job at a certain day camp. She asked her parents to please get her an application so she can send it asap. A few days later she received the application. She was so excited. She quickly filled it out the entire thing and sent it in the next day. Within a week she got a letter telling her what day the interview was. The date was June 20. The time flew and it was time for her to go to the interview. She went to the interview with her heart pounding. She thought it went great, until after a month, she got a letter saying, “Sorry, but we already have a lot of counselors and there is no room.” Goldie was crying her heart out day and night. One day, Goldie decided she was going to try again at a different camp, a more fun camp. She sent in application and it went great just as she thought. She got a letter that they have a spot for her at day camp. From than on Goldie learnt to never ever give up and to keep trying for what you want.
By Jennifer Dweck There was a little girl named Mazal. She was 5 years old. She was trying to learn how to ride a bike. Her parents were so proud, because she always refused to learn to ride a bike, but she said she would learn. They bought her a new bike with pink flowers and yellow sparkles. She got on the bike and her dad held on to the bike. Mazal was so happy, because she was starting to learn to ride a bike. Mazal screamed, “Don’t let go,” but her dad did. She started to do it by herself and then she tipped over. She got a big scratch and it started to bleed. She ran into her house crying. Her parents wanted her to get back on but she refused. Then she thought to herself, “You know, maybe I should get back on. Before I wasn’t trying my hardest, but this time if I try the hardest, Hashem will do the rest.” As soon as she got back on she was able to ride all by herself.
By Yvonne Mizrahi One day Jessica was walking down the street, when she saw a flyer hanging on a pole. Jessica went closer to see what it was for. It was for an art contest. Jessica got excited because she was great at art. She took the flyer home and showed it to her mom. Her mom said, “That sounds fun. We have lots of art supplies in the garage.” So, Jessica worked very hard day and night. Finally, the day of the contest was here. The judges came to look at all the projects while the contestants waited aside to present their projects. When it was Jessica’s turn, she did a nice presentation, but she heard people mumbling bad comments. She was discourages. She decided to go home and practice her techniques and take more art lessons.
By Temima Chamani “I can’t, I just can’t do it,” yelled Sarah helplessly. “You saw how all the guests spit out the cake. I was burning with embarrassment and I am not going to go through it again. I just won’t.” “Sarah, honey,” Mrs. Friedman said softly. “Mistakes happen, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. You don’t want to be considered failure. You have to try, try and try again until you get it right. If you don’t move on you’ll never learn how to bake. Start anew.” Sarah listened to her mother’s wise words and decided to make a list of why she can do it and should have confidence in herself. The following day Sarah took out an apron, set the ingredients on the counter, brought out the measuring cups and cookbook. She flipped to the recipe, while encouraging herself, “I can do it, I can bake the cake. I can do it.” Once she had everything organized, she began to slowly measure ingredients one at a time. Two hours later the heavenly aroma of brownies filled the house. As Sarah took out the cake, and cut herself a slice to taste, she knew that this time she had achieved her goal. She had baked her first – good tasting cake. The cake lasted a day, but her mother’s lesson lasted forever. “Try, try and try again until you get it right!”
By Gayle Zagha An 8th grade boy is in a lower math track. But he is really trying to do better. He practices and practices during all of his free time and yet he still fails his quizzes. Everyone keeps telling him to stop trying, “you’re never going to get any better. You’re not smart.” He started to believe it. So he stopped trying, and kept on failing. After a while, he thought to himself, “Wait, I shouldn’t listen to his. I can pass.” The night before his next quiz he studied for hours. During the quiz, he kept thinking to himself, “I can do this, I can do this. I will do this.” When he got his quiz back he was scared to look. He covered the grades and closed his eyes. Finally he opened his eyes and uncovered the grade. He got a 95%. He was so proud and so was his teacher. From then on he wouldn’t listen to what others’ would say about him. Only what he thought of himself.
By Kitana Maman My goal is to be a singer and an actress. It’s not always easy. Sometimes, when I try out for the plays, I get a lead, other times, if it is an adult play, I might not even get in at all. You see, when I don’t get the part I wanted it is upsetting, but I push myself to try harder. I don’t believe in quitters. I’m not going to give up a great opportunity just because of a few let downs. I know I could do better. That’s why I believe in myself and I don’t back down. I am not a quitter.
By Gabrielle Dweck There was once a girl names Emma. Emma just got a new job at her dream office, working as a designer in a high end company. She was the new girl. Most of the employees stayed clear of her. She kept trying and trying to become part of the clique, but they ignored her. One day she was finally invited to have lunch break with them. She got some coffee and started to walk towards the table where all the employees were sitting. Just as she was about to reach her seat, she tripped and spilled her boiling hot coffee all over the table and the meanest employee there, the queen bee, Jacqueline. Everybody jumped up and screamed at her. Jacqueline told her that she blew her chances with them and she would stop at nothing to get her fired. Jacqueline also told Emma, she probably couldn’t design one nice piece of clothing. The next day, Emma came in to work and the boss told her she was selected to design a new line of clothing. Emma told herself, she could do it. And she would prove to herself and everybody else that she deserved to be here. She went on to make a line the boss loved and became the top employee and made friends.
By Chella Ennakab I think to get through life you need a challenge. Hashem challenges every person. He gives you challenges that He knows you could overcome. I want to become more religious. I can’t do it in one step, because I will fall back. I can’t keep the whole Shabbat. But one time I do it for 2 hours. Next time another 2 hours and so on. Before you give up just remember why you started that goal. Why you set your mind to do it. Every goal you have, you can do it because Hashem gave you that challenge and you can overcome it.
By Ahuva Lefkowitz I’ve always wanted to play guitar. Throughout 5th, 6th and 7th grade I enviously watched my 5 other siblings pluck at the strings as though they were born to be guitar professionals. In 9th grade my mother finally agreed to give me guitar lessons. In a whirl of excitement and giddiness, I flew through 1,2,3,4 lessons. Then, I decided that I was finally ready to enter into the talent show that would be held at my school in a week. I practiced guitar fiercely, my fingertips turning purple from pressing the strings so hard. Finally I was ready. I stopped onto the brightly lit stage on the Thursday night of the show. I started playing beautifully, one chord following the next. I drowned myself in the stunning medleys, until…I struck G instead of C minor and the entire song flopped. The sniggers and giggles are permanently branded in my brain since that night. My face turned a startlingly bright shade of red and I flew from the auditorium, feeling like a deflated balloon. No embarrassment could ever compare to what I felt that night. I trudged around school, my head held low and my popularity status dropped at an alarmingly fast rate. The shame stayed with me through entire year. And then it happened. I had been offered a guitar playing summer job at the special children’s center. I almost declined because I didn’t want to remember that horrible moment. I decided to take up the offer and took out my old dusting guitar from my attic. Once again I practiced my G’s and C minors and I was accepted. I’ve learnt from this to take every one of my life’s struggles in stride and to always try again no matter what. I hope you do too.
By Joe Torkieh In basketball game my friend missed the game’s winning shot and got embarrassed by his team and the whole crowd. He went home that day and he felt miserable. He never wanted to play the game again. I went over to him and told him, “Don’t worry. Even the best basketball players miss shots. Don’t give up, if you try and try you can become the best basketball player. That’s how basketball players become basketball players.” He took my words and became the best basketball player. The lesson is to never give up. If you give up, you will never become successful.
By Lana Segel I stood behind the big curtain. I felt my heart beating under my costume. I looked around me and was sure someone would hear it pumping. We all went to our starting positions and the curtains opened. The play went smoothly and it was time for the school yard scene. The curtains closed and we went backstage to change into out uniforms. I strode confidently over my stuff and began to change. I was all ready except for my uniform skirt. I looked around frantically getting more nervous by the second. Where was my uniform skirt?!?! It came time for going back on stage. I still wasn’t ready. I watched everyone happily walk on the stage while I was still searching for my skirt. I felt tears sting my eyes. I continued searching. Suddenly the colors of out uniform skirt caught my eye. I burst with excitement. When I got to it, sadly, I realized it wasn’t mine. My heart broke. Finally, I realized I would have to get back into stage in my black skirt. Later, I would have to figure out who had my skirt. As I walked back into the stage, I was determined that next year I wouldn’t fail. I would have a good smooth play without any mess-ups. When I got back to my position I had decided that however embarrassed I was, I wouldn’t let the skirt get in the way of a beautiful play. Anyone in the audience could have sworn I was the loudest of all.
By Rivka Meiser I have two brothers. And that means a lot of talking about basketball. He shot this and he missed that. They would always be out playing basketball, and going to leagues. One time, I decided I wanted to play basketball. Not only was I not good, I didn’t know any of the rules. One time we were by my cousin’s house and they were going out to play basketball, but they needed one more person. I volunteered. I made a total fool of myself. So, I kept on watching my brothers play. Learned the rules and practiced playing. I became better not perfect but good. Hopefully, if I keep trying I will be even better.
By Devorah Band Sarala was an average 8 year old. She played with her friends’ games, jump rope and so on. But as summer came all her friends were riding their bikes and she was left out. Her parents bought her a beautiful pink bike for her birthday. But Sarala never used it because she was embarrassed to that she still needed training wheels. Her family tried very hard to teach her how to ride without training wheels. In the middle of July she felt like she was ready to bike along with her friends. In the beginning, she was having a blast with her hair flying in the wind. Suddenly she lost her balance and fell off her bike. Her friends, Leah and Penina, started laughing at her. She turned red and ran home with tears dripping down her cheeks. Sarala kept on trying for weeks. A month later a she felt confident and went outside. This time, she had a better time and didn’t fall off. Thanks to her family she accomplished riding bike and felt good about herself.