Inspiring Student Minds

Inspiring Student Minds

Ronkonkoma Middle School recently held two powerful assemblies in order to teach the students multiple life lessons, including how to build positive character traits and the positive outcomes of overcoming difficult obstacles.

Sixth- and seventh-grade students were invited to attend a presentation given by acclaimed martial artist and eighth-degree black belt holder Jerry Figgiani. During his presentation, Mr. Figgiani told the story of how one of his students, Robert Aliano, made a poor decision one night in college at the age of 21 which would affect him for the rest of his life.

After being struck by a car and slipping into a coma, Mr. Aliano’s family was told that he would never be able to walk again. However, Mr. Aliano was able to overcome what the doctors predicted, and provided the young students with a story of inspiration of how he overcame his disability and will soon earn his black belt in karate this upcoming June. To conclude the uplifting presentation, Mr. Aliano took questions from the students, and presented his great strength by breaking a wooden plank with his fist.

Additionally, eighth-graders heard from retired Suffolk County Police Officer Paul Failla who delivered an inspiring presentation regarding character education.

Throughout the course of his highly interactive presentation, Mr. Failla covered such topics as mutual respect, leadership, and the importance of being aware of cyberbullying and its negative effects.