Confidence: the Key to Success

Presented by: Adam Hailstone

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'” Confidence is gained by doing hard things. Fundamentally, hard things are accomplished by two attributes: will power and strategy. Come learn how to effectively develop both of these attributes and become more fearless!


When I was 14 years old, I went through a dramatic change in my life. I realized it was up to me to get an education—no one else was going to do it for me. I say “dramatic” because I went from a student who was dragging his feet and learning practically nothing, to a student who was enthusiastic about learning, life, and having impact. Since then I have sought to help others push through educational, personal and cultural barriers to obtain greater learning. During college I was given an opportunity to travel with two of my professors and speak to audiences around the United States and Canada and help people begin their journey of obtaining a great education. It was a fulfilling time in my life.

After college, I started two small businesses. I had big plans and it was a great learning experience, but something was missing. I longed for the opportunity to once again help people obtain a greater education. Then, a few years ago, I sold one business and closed the other to join the faculty of Williamsburg Academy full time. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I love what I do! I get to help students look at the world, its people, cultures, problems and beauty, and show them how to navigate it and the opportunities they have to change it. My goal as a mentor is to help students look inward and see themselves as they really are and then decide to become what they see.

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