Speaking Topics

Overcoming Adversity

How many times have you faced adversity where you thought that it would break you, was too big to overcome, or would stop you from reaching your goals? 

At the young age of 16, when most high school students were worried about the latest trends, dates for school prom and dances, or weekend plans, I was in a hospital bed fighting for my life. In 2004 during my junior year, I suffered a severe spinal cord injury during a football game that left me paralyzed from the neck down.  

During this presentation, I will share what it took for me to overcome this obstacle and still manage to achieve every goal I set for myself, including walking again!  The audience will leave inspired and equipped with tools to overcome obstacles when they arise. 

The Path to Purpose

Have you ever asked, “Why me?” when nothing seemed to be going right and you couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel? 

After suffering a severe spinal cord injury at the young age of 16, not only was I paralyzed from the neck down -- I was mentally and spiritually broken. Unexpectedly, it was through my journey to recovery that I found my purpose for life.  

During this presentation, I will share how tough times aren’t meant to break you – instead they are there to prepare and teach you lessons that will be needed during your journey to finding your purpose. 

Why Civic Engagement

Be the change you wish to see.” 

Have you ever seen anyone skip a rock on water? What happens? The rock starts one small ripple that eventually turns into waves. 

Through service and volunteerism, we can solve many of the issues our communities face today. In 2012, I woke up with a vision to start a nonprofit, Safe Alternative Foundation for Education (SAFE). In 2015, I opened a youth facility, the SAFE Center with the support of 100s of volunteers that backed my vision and mission. The SAFE Center addresses the lack of educational opportunities and resources during out of school time in my community. As a result of my efforts, in 2017 I was appointed by Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan to serve as the Director of the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism. The impact of this has been monumental with 1000s of Marylanders being served throughout the state annually.  

During this presentation I will share stories of how the civic engagement of individuals has changed the lives of people across the state of Maryland by simply using the skills and talents they already possess. More importantly, the audience will learn how to get involved in their communities.

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