Nearly 400 Bellarmine College Prep 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 for Humanities and the Arts included visuals that reinforced West’s personal story of overcoming obstacles to make a difference in the world.
“I never set out to be an inspiration,” West told the students. “I just wanted to make the world a better place.” He then challenged all to “find that something that lights that fire inside of you … find something worth fighting for.”
West lost his legs from the pelvis down when he was five years old and, subsequently, faced numerous physical and emotional challenges. Over time, he learned that by forming relationships and working to make the world a better place, he could transform his life.
West has accomplished much, including building schools in poverty-stricken 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.
Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner. The Canadian-based organization operates collaborative programs both domestically and internationally. Bellarmine’s Free the Children Club is one of many service-oriented campus clubs organized by students who live the school’s motto of being “men for and with others.”
For more information regarding Bellarmine College Preparatory visit www.bcp.org.