This year, we’ve been blown away by the wise career and life advice that our #DreamSpeakers have given to classrooms across the country. We’ve chosen 18 of the best pieces of advice to show you all, because messages like these deserve to be shared. Whether you’re a 4th grader, a college student, or a CEO, these quotes provide powerful affirmations and reminders.

  1. “Be enthusiastic to learn, wherever you are.” — Nick Greco, Orthopedic Surgeon

2. “If you’re stuck in between two paths, choose the one that requires more courage.” — Candace Rardon, Freelance Travel Writer and Illustrator

3. “Everyone in life has a calling. Sometimes you hear it early. It might happen for you now, it might happen in five years, it might happen in thirty. But that moment comes.” — Lara Setrakian, CEO and Executive Editor of News Deeply

4. “Seek, listen and ask mentors, but don’t let it dictate the decisions you make.” — Abby Norman, Freelance science writer

5. “You’ll be surprised at how awesome you can be if you just make yourself do something, even if it scares you.” — Tom Di Liberto, Meteorologist at Innovim

6. “I take slow breaths in and low breaths out and I clear my mind” — Jamie Crane-Mauzy, former professional skier

7. “A constant curiosity will serve you well in any career — so keep being curious and wanting to learn.” — Leanne Erdberg, Director of the ​Countering Violent Extremism Program at the United States Institute of Peace

8. “You have to constantly think about new, wild, strange, crazy, ambitious ways of solving problems” — Jack Kittinger, Senior Director at Conservation International

9. “Your past doesn’t define you” — Jeff Hoffman, Entrepreneur and founder of priceline.com

10. “Getting an education, a good education, is the key. With that, you can go on to do anything.” — Athena Jones, CNN National Correspondent

11. “You have to have a lot of grit, resilience and attention to detail.” — Arianna Brown, observational astronomer

12. “Control what you can control. Life is tough and some things won’t go your way, but the important part is to keep in mind what you can control.” — Chioma Ubogagu, professional soccer player for Orlando Pride

13. “Find a balance, where you can make an impact, and your work can make an impact on you.” — Michaela Walker, Manager of Cultivation at Memphis Meats

14. “Someone told me, ‘go to every class and do every assignment’ and I know that sounds silly, but just by getting into that habit, I started to improve. I went from almost getting kicked out of school to getting on the Dean’s list.” — Frank Rodriguez, Product Manager at Google

15. “Continue to strive to be the best. Do not worry about the fact that others are seen as ‘cooler’ than you.” — Karina Veras, U.S. Department of State Economic Officer at the Office of Mexican Affairs, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs

16. “Have the courage to find the path that best suits you. Don’t feel you have to conform to other peoples’ paths.” — Paul Monteiro, Howard University’s Chief of Staff

17. “If you speak with confidence, other people will believe what you say too.” — Juhee Jain, User Interface Designer

18. “Find people on the other side, and say ‘I just want to hear you out, see why you believe what you believe.’ Through that, you are being part of the solution to the country’s tension. This makes you part of finding a way to see what we have in common and how we can live together with our differences.” — Roya Ellis, U.S. Department of State Division Chief, East Asia and Pacific, Bureau of Consular Affairs

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