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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Sally Ride

First American Woman in Space

I was literally just a couple of months away from getting my Ph.D. in physics when I saw, believe it or not, an ad in the Stanford student newspaper, that had been put in the newspaper by NASA, saying that they were accepting applications for astronauts, and the moment I saw that, I knew that that's what I wanted to do. Not that I wanted to leave physics, I loved it, but I wanted to apply to the astronaut corps and see whether NASA would take me, and see whether I could have the opportunity to go on that adventure.
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Sally Ride

First American Woman in Space

Sally Ride: I was ecstatic. I was thrilled, and my first reaction was probably identical to the reaction of the other four members of the crew who were told that same day. We could not believe that we got our chance to go into space. We were the first four from our astronaut class to get to go, and so we had been in training for four years at that time, building up to this point, and the moment that we were told, it was, "Oh my gosh, I can't believe that I get a chance to do this." And it was only after that, not long after that, but after that, that I thought, "Oh my gosh, I am going to be the first woman to get to go up, representing this country."
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Sonny Rollins

Greatest Living Jazz Soloist

In the musical realm, I had Coleman Hawkins. After Louis Jordan, I began to gravitate to a more sophisticated -- I might put it that way -- not comparing the two, but Coleman Hawkins had a more intellectual approach maybe to music. He played a lot of very difficult things. So he really became my idol. I wanted to play tenor, and had alto before. So anyway, in the musical field, I would say those were my early idols -- saxophone. I always loved Fats Waller, because I heard him as a boy, and I just loved anything he did.
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Sonny Rollins

Greatest Living Jazz Soloist

Sonny Rollins: Once I started, when I was around eight years old or so, I knew that's what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a musician. So I kept playing, I was really at it. You know, there is one thing about me, I was a guy that would practice. Once I started practicing, my mother had to call me to stop practicing. "Come and eat dinner!" Because I was in my own world, and I am like that up to this day really, except that I am older now, and I can't practice like 15 hours a day, but I still have the same inclination and same spirit. But I kept at it, and by the time I was about 14, I guess, we got a little neighborhood band. Then, by the time I was 17, we had a neighborhood band, and I was beginning to get recognized by some of the older people, older musicians. Then, by 18, I made my first recordings. So I was straight, I was on that track. I was on the track to be a professional from that early age, from eight years old I would say.
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Sonny Rollins

Greatest Living Jazz Soloist

If a young person that's a scientist, or wants to be a musician, wants to be a painter, sculptor, and you love it, then, give yourself to it, that's all. This is the only way to do it, that's its own reward really. And if you succeed, I don't know. It's a matter of what you just said, "What is success?" I don't know, but giving yourself to something you believe in, that is success. So I would tell people to really get with what you are doing, with abandon, do your thing and really want to do it, and believe in it, and block out the rest of the world, because you are the world. You are the world, not these other people around you. Your project, your love, your art, that's the world. That's where you have to be.
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Anthony Romero

Executive Director, ACLU

Anthony Romero: From when I was a little boy, I always knew I wanted to be an attorney. I don't know why. There is no attorney in my family. My father was a waiter and my mother stayed at home and I'm the first of my family to finish high school. But somehow I always got it in my mind that I would be a lawyer. Perhaps it was because I was argumentative, because I always spoke my mind, perhaps because I never really understood the rules of the nuns in Catholic school, was always questioning them. Over time it just kind of stuck with me, that I would be a lawyer. Later on in life I understood the role the law would play in social justice and that we would be change agents for people. I saw that it could make a real difference in people's lives, and that's really where I understood the importance of being an attorney for issues, for causes, for people, for ideals. So I don't know, maybe it was in my DNA from the beginning, but I always knew I wanted to be an advocate for change.
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Anthony Romero

Executive Director, ACLU

Anthony Romero: The struggle for civil rights and civil liberties is really a very basic one. It's one we all understand. We have the right to live with dignity. Each of us -- regardless of who we are, or what background we come from, or what religion or what race -- have a right to determine how we think about the world, what we say, whom we love, who we associate ourselves with. It's the ability to tap into that most beautiful part of the human experience, of saying, "I decide what I want to be and what I do and what I say and what I think." We all feel that, we all feel the sense of personality, of individuality, and the idea then that there are barriers that impede our ability to live our lives fully, there are barriers that impede our ability to be all we can be. That's what we do, we remove the barriers, we remove the blocks. It's about taking every person whose life is precious and making sure that they can make the most of it as they wish. That's, in the end, what we do every day.
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