Making your dreams come true doesn’t happen overnight.  Succeeding in the NFL takes a lifetime of commitment, practice and hard work.  I never expected anything to be handed to me; I planned and worked every day to make my dreams come true.

I believe that it’s up to all of us to encourage every Arizona student to dream big and go for it.  They are our future doctors, teachers, engineers, leaders, writers and athletes.  And with the right support and motivation, every one of them has the potential to succeed in college, career and life.

Postsecondary education, including university, community college, and career and technical education, is a critical step toward individual success. Studies show that students who complete postsecondary education earn more and receive better benefits, like health insurance, paid vacations, sick leave, and retirement plans. Most importantly, a quality postsecondary education gives our students more options for the future.  In turn, their success strengthens our economy and overall quality of life.

That’s why I am proud to partner with Expect More Arizona and Arizona GEAR UP on the College and Career Planning Guide. The Guide will be available to every 8th, 9th and 10th grader in the state starting this fall.  You can get your copy by downloading the Guide and starting to help the students in your life plan their pathway to academic and postsecondary success.

Think of the College and Career Planning Guide as the playbook for every Arizona student’s future. Students are encouraged to read through it every year with their parents, teachers, coaches, or friends to discuss which steps will put them in the best position to succeed. The Guide walks them through the process of “dream, plan, work hard and track your way to success.”

Each Arizona student must look to the future and determine his or her own meaning of success.  To me, success means excelling in everything I set out to do. You don’t need to play in the Super Bowl to be a success; you just need to set goals and work as hard as you can to achieve them. So, ask the students in your life, “What does success mean to you?”  And then help them get there.

Kurt Warner is a two-time NFL MVP, and led the Arizona Cardinals to their first Super Bowl in the 2008 season. He retired from the NFL earlier this year, and spends his time giving back to the community.