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We’ve loved asking interesting South Jersey residents about their great accomplishments, and especially love hearing their advice. Here are some of our favorite answers from past stories.

 

Dave Benjamin

Performance poet
What lessons do you hope to teach young people?
Identify the issues that affect you, and also identify your gifts and talents. Then use those talents – that’s the end game. Make a list of your goals. Know who your life coaches are – your parents, guidance counselors, teachers and your friends. Those are the people who can help you.

 

Tina Wells

Owner, Buzz Marketing
What’s your best advice for young women?
Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Too often, we think everything’s got to be perfect and done a certain way, and that’s just not true. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be done a certain way. The best thing is to just get out there and do it. Try it, and see what happens. The worst that can happen is you realize that’s something you shouldn’t be doing. You don’t get any information from something you don’t try. Having regret is worse than never trying something.

 

Billy Lange

Assistant Coach, Philadelphia 76ers
You’re living your childhood dream. What’s your advice for young people who want to do the same?
I’ve had a mantra ever since I was a kid. I think I even wrote it in my eighth-grade yearbook: follow your heart. We’re all wired to be passionate about something. As we get older, other things get in our way, things like debt or money or other problems. If you can, make the decision when you’re young to say, “This is what I know I’m meant to do,” and then just do it. I can’t imagine myself not doing this. My advice is that if something is on your heart at 7 or 8 years old, you owe it to yourself to go for it.

 

James Galanis

Director, Universal Soccer Academy
How can a parent best motivate a child?
It’s not a case of motivating them but of making sure they’re having fun. Every time they walk off the field, the parent should be giving positive feedback and not worrying if they didn’t score a goal or have a good game. Make the kid feel that they are doing great and having success. Then they will be motivated on their own to go back, because they like feeling they are progressing and making mom and dad happy.

 

Bernie Parent

Former Philadelphia Flyer
Do you have any tips for trying to stay positive?
I believe you should write down maybe 10 different things that you love and enjoy in life. It could be bowling, playing tennis, hunting, whatever. When you’re sad and not feeling good, ask yourself, “What am I thinking about?” Once you know, you can change your thinking. Think about something from the list, something you know you love. Refocus your mind and become happy again. Change the negative to the positive. A happy mind brings happy results.

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