Alex began her journey as a motivational speaker in earnest at the beginning of this this past school year and it has been incredible. The book that Jessica and I wrote about Alex was released in October. Since then, Alex (and in many instances Jessica along with her) has shared her story and suggestions for change with teachers, teacher candidates, doctors, medical students, moms, religious groups, students preparing to be social workers, and the list goes on. She has spoken to small groups of 15 to large groups of 300. In every instance – the response has been overwhelming. She is changing lives. She is determined to use her experiences and her motivation to change the world.
Our measure of her success is based on the reactions of those Alex touches with her message. The emails and letters we receive from those who have read our book focus on the courage that Alex and our entire family had in the face of such difficult circumstances. These readers find inspiration from our journey. You can read their reactions in our Amazon reviews (better yet – you can complete your own if you have not done so already…).
The emails we receive following Alex and Jessica’s talks focus on how participants walk away motivated to live their best lives. People are convinced that if Alex and our entire family can “make lemonade from what could be described as lemons” then so should they. There is always a bright side – it often takes strength, determination, and resilience but one can get on the right path.
I am not surprised by these reactions. What does surprise me are the opportunities that have opened for Alex to reach more people and that Alex has the courage to take the opportunities and even to seek more. Her first year began with a presentation at the University of Central Florida for teachers and teacher candidates. Then she was off to provide a major session at the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics. That went so well that she presented at a regional teacher education conference that was held in Florida. In the midst of providing several other motivational talks in Florida, Alex headed to New Orleans to present at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference. I would say that this was a turning point – this is where things became truly surreal.
As result of the impact Alex left on participants at that presentation, she has been invited to provide keynote presentations at major conferences in Las Vegas, Nevada and Atlanta, Georgia among others. Just this week I booked Alex’s flights to Anchorage, Alaska to share her message with high school teachers there.
Each time Alex presents she gets better – the more distinguished and larger the audience, the more she shines. Due to Alex’s own motivation and her ability and willingness to motivate others she has found a purpose in her struggle. She will change the world one person at a time. We are no longer asking how will Alex leave an impact or why is this her path but rather what’s next? Perhaps a movie…?