Sixth-graders at Ballard Middle School got to hear first-hand about the importance of hard work and perseverance when it comes to making dreams come true last Monday, when three Iowa State University football players stopped by their classroom.

Quarterback Zeb Noland, quarterback and linebacker Joel Lanning and offensive lineman Sean Foster visited with young Ballard students and talking about their dreams and goals, and how to overcome setbacks. Guidance counselor Brenda Zobel-Moody said that the experience helped provide a connection between the curriculum students learn and real life. During sixth-grade guidance class, students get to talk about dreams, goals and bucket list items they hope to accomplish in their lives, she said. Getting to hear from university athletes who followed their dreams fit in perfectly.

“I know that college athletes have to dream big to attain that level of success, so it just seemed like a natural fit to have them come and speak to our sixth-graders,” Zobel-Moody said. “I feel this experience will have an everlasting impact on our sixth-grade students. Listening to these three athletes share their dreams and goals, and how they persevered through setbacks that happened along the way, made the experience so real for our sixth-grade students.”