Speaker delivers a strong message to WSU Audience

Posted on March 17, 2012 by


By Adam Straughn


On Tuesday, March 6, Worcester State University Diversity Lecture Series hosted the inspirational speaker David Stevens who provided a unique outlook on what it takes to chase a dream and how to overcome any possible insecurities that may ever discourage someone from trying to reach them.

Stevens knew a thing or two about overcoming such obstacles. Due to a birth defect he was born without legs and as his introductory video and complimentary speech revealed, every day growing up for him presented him with a new challenge. Despite what may seem like an unfortunate circumstance to many, Stevens said he felt “blessed” to be given the opportunity that he had to become a semi-professional athlete and he now works as a correspondent for ESPN. By being driven to overcome every challenge that came his way, he has created for himself a career that anyone can appreciate.

As he was sure to point out however, it was not always successful and joyful times. As many people can relate to, many personal hardship hardships tested Stevens’ character throughout his career. The dark times he mentioned, only made him stronger in the end. After reaching his personal low, it took a sudden epiphany to change his life. On a day when Stevens sat in a pitiful mood staring at the sky, he realized that he was not yet the man he always wanted to become. “Whatever it takes for you to realize your purpose in life,” he told the crowd, “take it heart and do something with it, don’t just sit back and feel sorry for yourself when you think you have failed.” He also advised, “There is always someone who has had it worse off than you do, nothing is ever going to be easy, just be thankful for all of those who do support you and who are around to teach you.” A life of experience can back up the motivational motto’s he provided to the hundred some-odd students who sat and watched him tell his story.

Stevens never met his birth parents and after being adopted by foster parents, he went through school like most other students. Despite his unique circumstances, he took a liking to many sports and stopped at nothing to participate in them. Without seeing any videos of Stevens on the baseball diamond, on the wrestling mat, or on the football field, it would be hard to imagine how someone can even participate in such sports without having legs to run and move with, but after seeing film of him playing these sports, witnessing similar athletic movements live and in person during the lecture, and hearing how his positive attitude allowed him to do what he wished to do, many students in the blue lounge were left with a refreshing reminder that nothing is impossible when it comes to career goals.

One WSU student, Adam Carskaddan, Freshman, who was impressed by Stevens’ attitude toward life commented, “Dave wants people to realize that nothing is holding you back from what you want, if you think something is stopping you, it’s really not.” Carskaddan added, “our minds doubts are really the only thing holding us back. Just by thinking that some personality quirk you have has the ability to stop us, you are letting it limit your capabilities.”

When Stevens wanted to be a professional athlete he was told countless times that it was impossible. His story exemplifies that the character traits that people in their growing years are told to strive to have, such as determination and ambition, are actually the character traits that make people successful both professionally and personally.



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