Students at Fair Oaks Ranch Elementary School received a visit this week from Dr. Neel Shah of Kaiser Permanente and Ring CEO Jamie Siminoff, who both sought to inspire the children.
During the discussion, which was a part of teacher Ken Newton’s continuing “passion project” series, children had the opportunity to hear how Siminoff and Shah made it to where they are today and ask questions, so one day the sixth-graders may achieve the success the speakers have.
When asked what advice they have for the students who will soon make their way to junior high and eventually high school, Siminoff urged them to follow their passions.
“Most of the team that we have like what they do,” which makes it much easier to put in the extra work that’s necessary to find success, the CEO said. “I think that’s what you want to try to do in life. Is find something you like enough so that it’s not something that feels like work all the time.”
Shah added that students should use their time in school to find their area of passion.
“The way I always looked at it is elementary school is really your foundation. You’re going to get exposed to different subjects and you may not have figured out, ‘Hey! This is what I want to do,’ and if you do have it figured out, it may change,” the doctor said. “So, the way I look at this is every year that goes by take that as I need to continue striving to work hard and at least figure out what it is I want to do. Set that goal and if the goal changes, then it changes.”
After the completion of the speeches, students were eager to share the messages that resonated with them most.
Amiyah Taylor said the passion project series is helpful because it exposes the class to different professions and how they can work their way into a similar field if they choose to do so.
Taylor’s classmates Natalie Petrill added, “It was interesting to hear how Siminoff and Shah started learning when they were little and how they continued to pursued their dreams when they grew up so they came true.”
“You should always follow your dreams and do something that you love,” student Ashley Tak said, “but if you want those things in your life then you have to put in hard work and dedication.”
Newton said he hopes to invite more speakers to the class next month because he finds the experience to be invaluable for his students.