Day of Manners: Tech Entrepreneur Gives Middle and Upper Division Students the “Cheat Code to Life”

Drawing parallels between gaming and success in life, local businessman Miraj Patel told Academy students on Monday about his experiences growing up and how they led to him founding a company and business success.

The technology entrepreneur spoke to 7th– 12thGrade students as part of Academy’s first Day of Manners of the 2018-2019 school year. Mr. Patel is the creator of Harness, an innovative giving application used by hundreds of charitable organizations including Academy at the Lakes. His “Cheat Code” (information you put into your game that helps you to “power up”) emphasizes attributes that will help any student make their dreams a reality: developing your personal brand, always being mindful of using good manners, charisma, confidence, and a positive mindset.

According to Mr. Patel, personal brand is the way that a person carries himself or herself, including all elements of non-verbal communication. He cited Academy’s morning handshake tradition as great training for future success. He touched on the positive impact of the manners and respect that Academy students practice throughout the year and call attention to during quarterly Days of Manners. Mr. Patel also explained how confidence and mindset are key factors in achieving goals.

The talk concluded with a great lesson, “If you’re sticking to being standard, there is no way to be extraordinary. If you put in the effort to develop all of the attributes, then you are already on the road to making your dreams a reality.”

Mathew Martin ’20 reflected on Mr. Patel’s presentation, saying, “I like how he used personal examples to drive home the point of each characteristic. For example, when he was talking about manners, he explained how having good manners when he was a teenager directly resulted in him securing an investor when he was older.”

The Academy at the Lakes tradition of the Day of Manners is powerful and instructive at every stage in a student’s development, from PreK through high school graduation. It’s an element of our school culture that helps arm our students with attributes and habits that prime them for great success in the game of life – without having to cheat in any way!