MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS

5th graders 

"You changed my life because now I know to never give up and have hope."

"I am lucky that you went to my school or I wouldn't have learned anything about positive behavior."

"I would love it if you were able to come back to our school and teach us more about what happened so the     holocaust would definitely not happen ever again. Sami you inspire us all. YOU ROCK SAMI!"

"I promise I will never forget your inspirational words. I will change my ways to be a more forgiving and             kinder person. I will always remember you as a survivor, moral witness, and mostly my HERO."

"You helped us learn a lot.  ..... For example you told us there were labor camps and some people had                   experiments done on them. I only knew about concentration camps."

"You are a great friend to my school and I."   

6th graders 

"Thank you because now I'm really going to try harder to improve the relationship with my stepmother."

"P.S. your story was overwhelming and I promise I'll pass your story to my children."                                                 "In the future, when I'm in a hardship, your strength will help me through it. "If Sami went through harder       stuff than me, why can't I?" I will also tell my children this story."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   7th graders

"When you asked where I was from I told you Africa, simply because that is where I thought my family was       from. After doing the research I found out my family originated from Germany. Silesia, Germany which is         now apart of Poland. Finding out where my family is originally from has only created a somewhat obsession   to my family and I to find our more of my family's history."

"I was lucky enough to meet a survivor and it changed my entire life..."

"Not becoming a victim to injustice is the biggest form of resistance anyone can do."                                                                                                                                 

Mixed graders

"As I listened to you speak, it really made me think about how adversity makes you a stronger person."

"During your wonderful presentation, I learned things that were new to me. I never knew that the Holocaust   spread out all the way to Romania and Ukraine."

"Today, I learned that there were different types of camps. Camps like, death camps and labor camps. I also     learned about the trains. How people are packed in. They would have to go many days without food or             water."

"I learned so much from you, I thought that knew everything their is to know about the Holocaust but you've   proved me wrong."

"You are a great role model for the whole world. You have taught me not to hate."

"I've been having a hard time at home and I tend to overthink things in a bad way. You showed me that you     can find positivity in anything. Thank you."

"Im happy right now because some of the things you said made me think about the situations I'm in right         now. I know how to deal with things in other ways."

"I don't mean to make any first time judgements, but in the small time you talked to us I could tell you are a   genuine, trustworthy, straight up and warm hearted person."

"The first thing I said when my parents asked what I did today at school I told them about you."

"I was thinking about what you said about depression. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. You told   us to allow ourselves to feel whatever we are feeling and move on. I don't know how to do that. I'm scared.     ....But I will try."

"It was an honor to meet you and learn about your experience. You're also very funny and not at all what I       expected, but in a good way. It felt like such good energy in the room."

"One thing you said was that when you're going through something and start feeling a certain way, go               through it but don't dwell on it. I'll remember that. Thank you."

"From you I've learned that we all have different cultures, heritage, religion and skin color but we are all one   race, and that will stuck with me forever. Sami you are a complete inspiration and I wish you the best."

"You taught me to forget the past and to forgive someone I must first forgive myself. Not only were you             truthful but you didn't speak to us like we were children and that shows respect."

"When at first was learning about World War II it didn't seem real, but when you told the class about your         experience it all came to reality."

"Out of all the motivational speakers yours touched me the most. Because, not only did you have a great           story to tell. Or that you had said how you don't regret any of the bad things that happened to you. But,           your words were very touching and different."

"Do you know what really made me think? You said something along the lines of "There is only one race, the     human race." When I shared that with my parents they told me to share it with my younger siblings so they   know from now, not to judge a book by its cover."

"I'm so inspired.....When you talked about never bullying and never to be a bully. It is important to me                 because I've been bullied since 2nd grade. Your words meant a lot."

"I love the way that you were an open book. I promise to you that I will try to live by the lesson that you             taught me yesterday. I was really surprised by how you explain everything in detail. You have really made a   great impact on my life."

"The part of your presentation that hit my heart the most was when you said that we were all your children.   Having the strength to stand up for a long period of time while you were in pain showed me that I'm not as     weak as I may perceive myself to be." 

"It truly was an unforgettable experience. Your genuine words were extremely inspirational to me. I truly         believe that the world needs more people like you; people with good character, a positive attitude, and a         great heart. Words cannot express my gratitude towards you. Please continue to do what you do so well."

"Even though you've been through hell and back, you still seem so optimistic. I like the way you spoke to us:     there was a painful honesty to your words."  

"You're just such an open, genuine person and I can relate to all of your lessons. I'm really going to take your   words to heart. I promise I'll treat people like individuals, remain optimistic, and not believe everything I         hear."

"You have spoken many words, but you specifically said something that stood out to me most. You                       mentioned that you can't dwell in the past because you're wasting time. This shows me that life is short and   by letting your past affect you, you are not living life to the fullest."

"I found your story inspirational. I liked how you talked to us like young adults instead of like children. The       lessons you taught to us were great. Like how one action leads to another. I also liked how you were very         honest with your feeings and experiences."

"I appreciate how open you were. I love how you told us to always be happy with what you get. Your                   optimism is enviable. You inspired to always appreciate every little thing   that is given to me and also the       things that I work so hard for. You showed me to never give up and that's what I aspire to do for the rest of     my life,"

"You made me want to change my act because we don't live very long."

"Your story inspired me to not give up. When you first told us you were homeless, I couldn't tell. You kept         saying not to give up and now I never will. I have been sharing your story with my family. They found it             inspiring as well."

"I never met a holocaust survivor before, so I was really excited. You asked me if I knew where my family           came from; I didn't know at the time. I asked my mother and father, they were a little bit confused on why I   cared. They told me that on both sides they are very mixed: Britain, Guyana, Grunada, India, Caucasian and   maybe a little bit of Asian from my mother's side. My father has the Indian, British and Grunada part. My         mom has the Guyana, Caucasian, and Asian part (maybe). To be honest I never really cared where I came         from because I felt like I was born here so I'm American. But, now thinking about a whole group of people       trying to be removed from the face of the earth just because of religion. It makes me want to find out who I   am, and be proud of it, so if it happens again I'd still be strong."

"I think what hit me the most is that despite all the things the Germans did to you, you still forgave them.         When I was five my dad left my mother me for another women. I use to see my mom get physically abused     and I couldn't do anything to help her. After all the things he did to us, I could never forgive him. He hurt         me way too much and only my mother and I know what we had to go through because of what he did. But       your words really opened my eyes. I have to let go of the past and forgive him. That is the only way I can be     happy. Thanks to you I know think I am ready to forgive and move on. Thank you so much for your words         and your sympathy. I think I will never forget you and your impact on me."

"Being one of the only Jewish kids in my school, I've always been curious about the Holocaust since I've had     so few people to ask about it. I listened to every word you said because your experiences and challenges         have inspired hundreds of children and teenagers to succeed. Especially recently my life has seemed to be       problem after problem, in school and out of school. The way you overcame every situation you faced                 honestly puts life in perspective for me. The problems I go through seem nowhere near the ones you do.         This has taught me to be humble & grateful for my life, no mather what I face. G-d has a plan for us all, and     His plan for you is to inspire people like me. Thank you."   

"I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to be"  - Sami

SAMI STEIGMANN | 2016-2021 COPYRIGHT

NYC, New York

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