Two-time Olympian • Motivational Speaker • Fencing Instructor
Two-time Olympian Molly Sullivan Sliney is a Motivational Speaker and Fencing Instructor
The students at our school were absolutely captivated by Molly’s stories. She engaged the students as they heard about her life. She explained what dyslexia was and how she deals with this disability through hard work and determination. She explained that obstacles can be overcome. For her the obstacles included dealing with her disability and finding self-confidence in a sport that eventually brought her to the Olympics, twice.
I want to thank you for speaking today at my daughter’s school. You made quite an impression on her and I sincerely appreciate the time you take to inspire our children to persevere through diversity. When she came home from baseball practice tonight she told me your whole story with such admiration and enthusiasm. Your story of learning how to believe in yourself and overcoming diversity (dyslexia) supports what my husband and I try to instill in both our children. Ultimately children roll their eyes to yet another of mom and dad’s “never give up” lectures. It is when others supplement our stories (as you so eloquently did today) that our children ‘get it.’ Thank you for being such a great role model and sharing your strength with a new generation.
Our students were very impressed with Molly’s presentation; several of them shared that her story of overcoming her learning challenges would motivate them to set ambitious goals and work hard to achieve them, despite the personal obstacles they might face. Her emphasis on believing in yourself and exercising the power to make positive choices is especially important for middle school students. We will continue to invite her back by popular demand!
My 17 year old son and I recently attended a talk given by Molly at a local grammar school. It was amazing to see all the young children riveted to every word and equally amazing to see the teachers and my 17 year old son just as riveted to her words. Molly’s message reached every one in the room She gave inspiration to set goals and to meet those goals. Not only did she inspire but she also gave direction. This is so important for the adolescents in this time who may have goals but feel they are too overwhelming to work towards. Molly gave a strategy to work with. She also gave herself as an example of someone who had to struggle through the academic world because of learning disabilities, and by setting small goals one at a time was able to achieve not only success in the academic world but also her personal world.
We brought Molly Sliney to the West because we felt that, after reading her literature, she had an appropriate message to deliver to our fourth and fifth grade students. I sat in the audience and listened to her speak, and observed her interactions with the students. I must say that I was extremely impressed with her fundamental message to the audience; essentially, that it is up to each one of as individuals to set goals, and to reach deep down inside to find the courage, determination, and inspiration to achieve those goals. The students loved her. I actually had teachers approach me after her visit to tell me the positive impact Molly’s message had on them. In short, I would highly recommend Molly to any organization that wishes to experience an exciting, motivational program, one that will leave everyone inspired to dream big, and then do something about it.
Molly challenges her audience with the question, ‘Whose voice will YOU listen to?’, as she shares her personal struggle growing up with dyslexia and how her answer to that question led her down a totally unexpected, glory-filled path to become a two-time Olympic fencer! Molly’s passion for her sport and her genuine desire to make a difference in children’s lives emanates throughout her presentation. Molly’s program is the most personal and powerful presentation I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait to bring her back to our school!
I have a second grader that has a mild case of something called selective mutism - has difficulty speaking in certain situations. He seems to grow out of it a little bit each year and we have no doubt that he will do just fine going forward. With that in mind I loved hearing you focus on self esteem issues, as well as goal setting and perseverance. It was great for him to hear what you had to say. Obviously you should be proud of your accomplishments as an athlete, but I think you should be even more proud of what you are doing now. I have no doubt that you are making a difference.
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