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George Washington Carver said, "Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses."

Carver was no stranger to adversity and could have easily made excuses for not succeeding. But that wasn’t his way. Despite being born into slavery, he rose above his environment.

He earned a B.S. and then an M.S. in agriculture from Iowa State College, and he dedicated himself to teaching poor African-American farmers. He developed an extension program at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute to take the classroom to the people in the South, teaching agriculture methods and home economics.

And his research resulted in the development of hundreds of products made from crops such as peanuts and sweet potatoes. He did all that despite working with limited resources and opportunities because of segregation. Where others might have offered excuses, Carver achieved excellence.