I have had the privilege of working with teens since 2012 through coaching, mentoring, and inspirational speaking. This was never my plan. I wanted to be a professional athlete. So did the rest of my friends, but for me, it was different. My father and grandfather had been Division 1 athletes so I figured I actually had a chance. I showed a lot of promise as an athlete in my younger years. Into my teens, though, my performance became less and less impressive. I ended up getting beat out of the starting position on the football team my senior year.
I was crushed. Football had encapsulated my identity and my purpose. Without success on the field, I didn't know who I was. This is the same struggle that teens everywhere are facing. They aren't sure who they are. They don't know where they belong. They wonder if their life matters.
I believe that, in some cases, the dreams we have need to die before we can live out the purpose that we were created for. When I went to college I had to figure out what to do with myself. For the first time since I was 5 years old, I wasn't on a sports team. This dilemma led me into my true purpose: to impact young people. I have since coached and mentored hundreds of teens and spoken to thousands.
My time in college laid the foundation that I would need in order to endure the storm that was headed my way. In 2018, everything in my life seemed to be going great. I was married and had bought my first house. I had a great job mentoring teens and coaching football and basketball. I was making new music and poetry and slowly building my brand. All was well, except for one thing: my health.
As time went on, I was having more and more trouble performing physically. I often felt dizzy and unexplainably fatigued. I finally saw a doctor, and through a long series of tests, was diagnosed with a rare disease: Friedreich's Ataxia (FA). FA is a genetic disorder causing progressive damage to patients' nervous system resulting in difficulties with balance, coordination, speech, and energy production. Patients will eventually end up in a wheelchair and have a shortened life expectancy. There is currently no treatment or cure.
This was hard news to receive at 24 years old with my whole life and career ahead of me. I experienced depression and hopelessness, wondering if my life was worth living.
I came to realize this truth: your trials aren't meant to break you; they're meant to make you. I realized that my difficult circumstance was actually an opportunity to impact others. I choose daily to embrace my situation and make the most of it; in doing so, I encourage others to do the same.
Now more than every, I have a true passion to speak to young people and help them answer life's bigger questions. Yes, they do have a purpose. Yes, they do belong. Yes, they do matter. I would love to come and share my story with your youth. Thank you for your consideration. Please check out the various links in my EPK and I look forward to working together.