Free the Children Advocate Addresses Students

Posted: September 15, 2015

Nearly 400 students were enthralled by the story of Spencer West, the inspirational speaker and author of the best-selling book, Standing Tall. West visited the school on September 14 to share his journey and thank the students for their involvement in Free the Children and its mission to create a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as agents of change.

The address by the self-described “Ambassador for Social Change” to those gathered in the Sobrato Center included visuals that reinforced his personal story of overcoming obstacles to make a difference in the world. Having lost his legs from the pelvis down when he was five years old and, subsequently, faceing numerous physical and emotional challenges, West learned, over time, that by forming relationships and working to make the world a better place, he could transform his life.

His message of advocacy and support to aid people in poverty-stricken areas directly ties into our Summit on Human Dignity, which is focused on poverty this year. West has accomplished much in this area, including building schools in villages in Kenya and India, and inspiring countless people by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro on his hands and in a wheelchair in 2012 to raise more than $500,000 for a global clean water initiative, while raising awareness of the devastating drought in Africa.

“I never set out to be an inspiration,” West told the students. “I just wanted to make the world a better place. Find that something that lights that fire inside of you … find something worth fighting for.”

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