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Michael Wood III – Class of 2015 (Alumni Monday Speaker)

Michael Wood III – Class of 2015 (Alumni Monday Speaker)

Michael Wood III, Class of 2015, joined us as the Alumni Monday speaker on February 5, 2024, with a story that embodies the spirit of adventure and the courage to pursue one's passions.

Alumni Monday - Michael Wood

"Every time I'm back at The Academy, it feels like nothing's changed," Michael shared. "But regardless of how long it's been since I was back, it still feels like home.”

Reminiscing on the enduring bonds forged during his time at The Academy, Michael remarked, "One thing that definitely hasn't changed, is my friends. With the exception of this guy over here on the left (pointing to a group photo on the screen), every single one of those guys and I became best friends when we were sitting right down here in Pre-K almost 20 years ago. And that guy on the left, he's the newest friend we have–he came to The Academy in 1st grade!"

After growing up always thinking he would attend the University of Texas up the road in Austin, Michael decided to go out of his comfort zone and attend school halfway across the country at Duke University.

He always loved building and creating and decided that engineering would be a great career path. While in school, he began to work for a company in the energy sector. As he continued to research the field in which he was becoming so fascinated, he found that a lot of young people who were interested in a career in energy didn’t know how to get started. This realization led him to found a company to empower young people to pursue careers in the energy field.

Despite facing skepticism and challenges, Michael’s perseverance paid off. "People thought we were kind of crazy," he admitted. "But we were able to figure out a way that worked for us, and I'm super proud that we've been able to help a lot of young people find jobs that they really, really love."

Michael’s journey didn't stop there. Despite accepting a job offer from a renowned company, he embraced uncertainty and joined a startup instead. Drawing from his experiences, he emphasized the importance of taking chances and staying true to oneself.

"Every single day, I get to learn new things, and it only would have been possible if I was able to take that chance–if I had the confidence and the ability to be able to go out on a limb and do something that was totally crazy but totally exciting."

As his presentation concluded, Michael left the audience with a powerful message: "Try new things, take chances, be brave, be bold, be adventurous. Find where you are the best you can be because nobody else can. Every single one of you in this room has incredible opportunities, most of which you don't even know about, and the only way that you can truly be the best that you can be, is just to try."

About Alumni Mondays: Each Monday, we welcome an Academy alumnus to speak to SAA boys during chapel. During this presentation, our alumni speakers share meaningful stories and lessons from their days at SAA. View Alumni Monday Showcase

 

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