Character, Integrity, and Professionalism

Student Michael Kelly in a suit, tie, and formal paramedic uniform outdoors in front of his house.My name is Michael Kelly and I am a senior that is matriculated into the Bioscience Major and Chemistry Minor here at Farmingdale State College. I am a pre-medical student hoping to one day become a cardiothoracic surgeon. I am heavily involved on campus, being a part of an ample number of clubs and organizations while holding many credible leadership positions. Some positions include Senator for Student Body at Large for Student Government Association (SGA), President of Golden Key International Honor Society, Treasurer of Golden Key International Honor Society, President of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society (Tri-Beta), Rambassador, Orientation Leader, and a part of Campus Activities Board (CAB). I also a full-time student at Suffolk Community College who is enrolled in its Paramedic program.

Being a full-time student at two colleges this previous semester has taught me a lot and most definitely tested all of my abilities, mostly of time management, work ethic, drive, and my nonexistent sleep schedule. I managed to handle the plate of this semester effectively without spillage because of my drive to achieve what I want in life and never giving up. This is not only to make myself proud, but more importantly to make my parents proud. Everyone in life is afraid of something. Many are afraid of failure. My main fear is of not trying. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

While being trained as a paramedic, I was taught this main principle, “Own what you do.” This means that if you do something and make a mistake, own up to it because lying will get you nowhere and you’ll lose your integrity as an individual. It can take years to build your character and maintain that image of yourself, but it only takes a few minutes to destroy and lose everything you have ever worked hard for your whole life. When individuals say “You can do one hundred things right, but one thing wrong and people will remember you for it,” they have a tendency to remember the one thing wrong compared to the many things right that you did correct. Maintaining your character, professionalism, and integrity on a daily basis is critical in keeping true to your core values and what you represent. EverywhSocial Justice Distinguished Scholar Academy Certificate of Induction for Michael Kellyere you go, you should leave an impact so individuals respect and look up to you due to your qualities and way of life.

I’ve learned a lot of life lessons and gained wisdom throughout the years and I’ll share a few of the many that I have helped mold me into the man I am today. How you perceive yourself versus how others see you is not that important in life. What is important is how you see yourself. It means everything. Your only competition is not the ones you surround yourself with, but it’s the individual that is staring you down while you look in the mirror. You should be afraid and scared of because that person, yourself, is your competition. Never take a day for granted, you never know what it will bring and what you will learn. I had many setbacks in my life and unforeseen circumstances which changed my life forever and helped further develop what I stand for and more importantly who I am and represent today. Don’t ever underestimate the impact that you may have on someone else’s life because life is to short, you must enjoy it and be happy while you can. My life flashed before my eyes a few years ago when I experienced losing my second and third mother due to the same related issue. This experience caused me severe pain which changed my gears and gave me a clearer vision, focus, and direction to what I wanted to become in life which is becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon I dream of being. This added more fuel to drive me forward and to strive to be the best I can become not only to make my parents proud to not let these individuals down and to also make them proud.

Make your parents proud, your enemies jealous, and yourself happy which I was always told while growing up and adapted into my lifestyle. In your life, you decide the direction and road you set out to take. Even if there might be bumps or obstacles that might make you get off at an early exit, always stay focused on the end result and where you want to be in life. Get back on the road you paved for yourself and be unique and different from the rest. In your life, you decide the direction and the steps you take. If you take two steps forward and keep getting knocked back one step you take three steps, if you get knocked down you get back up. It is not a race, but the littlest moments capture the bigger ones in life. If you need time, take time, but those who are aggressive on their goals get what they seek in life, slow progress is better than no progress anytime. I also learned never to trust the person sitting next to you because they are most likely attempting to predict your next moves and try to disrupt your progress. Keep your composure even with all the negative moments and experiences in life because this will help develop your skills to maintain your character and integrity at all times. Never break your true code.

My vision all started with a dream and a goal. Always remember a goal without a plan is just a wish. You deserve the best for your life. Never give up or back down from your plan to succeed in it. You only fail when you stop trying. Do it today or regret it tomorrow. If it scares you, that’s a sign you must do it. When you fail you are learning, which means you are doing something right because no one is perfect. Sometimes it’s about risking it all for a dream no one can see besides you. If you don’t act swiftly, you will miss the opportunities and chances you never take in life. Nothing is worse than missing an opportunity that could have changed your life forever.

Live your life on your own terms and never try to impress others. Always be true and live for yourself while maintaining your character. Once you lose it to the point where it becomes broken, it’s near impossible to fix. It will never be the same as it once was. Your character is how you treat those who do nothing for you and expect nothing in return for you good gestures. If you live a life where every good deed you do you expect something in return you are wrong, if you live a life where you expect nothing from others your life will be much more enjoyable. The most valuable thing you can make in life is a mistake and to fail because failing is an option. If you don’t fail you do not learn and if you don’t learn you do not grow.

You can’t learn anything from being perfect and not everyone in this world is. Everyone has flaws and their own imperfections. Train your mind to be calm in every situation. Always know what to do when things go wrong and more importantly have a backup plan for all your back up plans. Just in case they fail you will always be prepared to deal with what is throw next at you, always be a head of the game. This is how I was taught and this is being solidified in me now since I am becoming a paramedic. I am being taught since I will be the highest level of experience in the prehospital setting that when things go south I better know what to do because others will look toward me for answers. If an intervention, I plan to do fails I need to already have another option in my mind on standby just in case it doesn’t go as expected. When something does not go according to plan, I’m already in the process and mindset thinking what will I do to correct it. You need to be prepared for what life throws at you because sometimes you foresee it coming while other times it’s unforeseen. You must act quick, because in my situation it’s a matter of life or death.

In life, you must be professional in everything you do. Take control of your life and lead by example, and the words you preach should match your actions. There is a time and place to relax and unwind but you must always have the professional behavior and be in that mindset in whatever you do because that will get you more respect than being unprofessional in your behaviors. Respect is earned not given. How easily you give it out is proportional on how easily it can be lost. Once it is lost, along with trust, it’s hard to get back. I was always taught at a young age that a person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected of them. This is helping me by always constantly reminding me that you must always help the ones who are helping you. Give your time to them instead of those who don’t invest in you to see you grow but rather leach off you for their own self gain. You should not waste your precious time on them. People who invest in you, you should invest back because you know there is profit to be made. It’s a good investment for both parties involved.

Surround yourself with people that build you up, not bring you down. You tend to become who you surround yourself with. That being said keep your circle small and keep your eyes on the prize while keeping your moves silent. Never reveal your next moves to people because you always want to be ahead of the game not lagging behind. You need to be determined in life because that will make you successful. Never waste your valuable time with explanations and excuses. Don’t try and explain yourself to someone. People only hear what they want to hear. You can be right with solid facts and evidence but they will still perceive you as being in the wrong. Never live to impress others. You are not a people pleaser, can’t satisfy everyone in life. If you satisfy one and change the life of one you are making a difference. Try to build more leaders, not followers.

Knowledge will give you power, but good character will give you respect. It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light. Your mind is everything what you think you will become, fear and distractions are just an illusion you perceive to distract you on your goals, you just have to work hard. Warriors are not the ones who always win, but the ones that always fight, that’s when you will become a legend. Be afraid of the calmest person in the room because they tend to have a lot to say but elect to keep quiet. Think and observe the actions of less wise individuals. This is very true when people say it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for. They are absolutely right, because those individuals are the most powerful.

No one is you and that is your power. Promise yourself you will never give up, remember why you started, never look back, do so only to see how far you become. I learned through life that it basically comes down to one simple thing, how bad you want it. One of the best lessons you can learn in life is to master how to remain calm in the mix of the storm because it’s only temporary. After every storm, there is always a rainbow and light. I also learned that we mature with wisdom, knowledge, and pain. It’s not just based on our age. Never let your emotions overpower your intelligence, and always put in the work one hundred percent. A journey always begins with a single step and you must embark on this adventure of life and experience what it has to offer you. You must enjoy doing something in life and find your reasoning on who you want to become, why you are doing something, how bad you want it, and how hard you are willing to work for it.

A successful person never had an easy past. All successful people have started from nothing and then became something. Ask any successful person if they had an easy past, their answers will compose of taking risks, struggles, pain and lessons learned. If you want to be powerful, educate yourself. Evaluate the people in your life then promote, demote, or terminate because you are the CEO of your life. Choose people who choose you to see you grow but don’t forget always treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO. Have character, professionalism, and integrity. Always stand for what you believe in. More importantly, don’t let people who didn’t go after their dreams talk you out of yours. Always be the hardest worker in the room and be more observant. Let the fools speak.

Be more of a listener and observer of actions. Always look for a solution to every problem, but always remember why you are doing it. After all, you can control two things your attitude and your effort. Tough times make you strong, tougher situations make you stronger, hard learned lessons give you experiences which make you wise. No one is you and that is your power, always remember to strive for your goals in life by maintaining your professional attributes, maintaining your character and most importantly your integrity because that says a lot about who you are. Remember tough times make you strong, hard learned lessons make you wise and pain brings change. If it shakes you, never let it break you. No one is you and that is your power.


Michael Kelly

State University of New York (SUNY) Farmingdale Student
State University of New York (SUNY) Suffolk Student
President of Golden Key International Honor Society
Treasurer of Golden Key International Honor Society
President of Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society
Senator of Student Government Association
Rambassador of Farmingdale State College
Orientation Leader of Farmingdale State College
New York State Emergency Medical Technician Basic (EMT-B)
New York State Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic Student (EMT-P)
New York State, Suffolk County Class A Firefighter
PADI Open Water SCUBA Diver (Water Rescue Diver/Swimmer for Rescue and Recovery Operations)

My Story:

Let’s Stay Connected! I’m on the following;

LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Suffolk

Leave a Reply