Spotlight On Success


Photo courtesy of the Garden City Telegram


HOLCOMB — If you set goals for yourself and work a little bit toward them every day, you will be surprised with your progress.

That advice was part of the talk given Monday morning by Adrienne Rosel Bulinski, Miss Kansas 2005, at Holcomb High School. Bulinski spoke to a full auditorium of teachers, administration and staff from the Scott City, Hugoton, Ulysses and Holcomb school districts.

She encouraged educators to help their students set goals, not only for success in school, but also success in life. Bulinski exhorted teachers to set an example for students by setting goals for themselves, as well.

“Define it for yourselves. What do you want to get out of the school year?” she said. “Show them that learning is fun and that everything is worthwhile.”Adrienne_Rosel_Bulinski_Motivational_Speaker_Author

Bulinski displayed a portion of her online blog on an overhead projector. The blog included questions for success that educators can ask their students, including which careers or jobs look interesting and which dreams the students would like to accomplish.

In addition to helping students — and themselves — set goals, Bulinski also encouraged teachers to help students with a success plan. She stressed that failure is a part of learning.

“What are 10 things that can throw you off from pursuing a dream?” she asked. “What are you going to do in those situations?”

She also said that teachers and students not only need to plan their goals, but to periodically measure how well they are progressing toward those goals.

“Look and see how you’ve grown and changed,” she said. “We need to celebrate our successes because we have a lot of failures.”

Bulinski cautioned that how someone defines success could change over time. She then displayed a plate full of chewed gum and said that every day she had worked towards one of her goals, she had chewed a piece of gum and stuck it to the plate.

“It smells great,” she joked about the overflowing plate as the audience laughed.

Overall, Bulinski stressed the importance of determination, perseverance and staying focused on goals in spite of obstacles.

Bulinski gave one example of perseverance from her own life: When she was in her 20s, she fell off a horse and almost ripped her entire foot off. She had to undergo a series of operations and is one of the few people in their 30s who have had a full ankle replacement, she said.

That experience is one of the reasons Bulinski became a motivational speaker — to help people believe in their capabilities of reaching their goals despite their setbacks.


“Life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent of what you make happen,” she said.

English teacher Cindy Geist came to the presentation on a bus with coworkers from Scott Community High School.

“It was very inspirational,” Geist said. “I have tools I’m going to take back for my class.”

Holcomb Superintendent Jean Rush said she and other area school officials decided to invite Bulinski to come to the school to speak after listening to her presentation at a school conference last year in Wichita.

Rush said she particularly likes Bulinski’s message about having grit and perseverance to overcome setbacks because students need to hear that message.

“She talked about how you have dreams and how those dreams can burst, and what to do when that happens,” Rush said.