From the Streets to the Stage by: Monti Washington

For those who were unable to stop by Ulsvik tonight, to be a part of the United We Stand presentation, we highly suggest seeing Monti Washington in the future. Monti Washington is a speaker who talked on the topics of setting goals for yourself, understanding your past does not define you and that as long as you work hard and try to make yourself better, you can achieve any goal you set. This high energy speech began with Monti telling the crowd a story about his third grade class. Monti told that his dream, in third grade, was to grow up and become a black ninja turtle. Monti hit on the point that at school he was happy, he could dream, and he could enjoy life. Then the discussion turned to a sad note. We as the audience found out the truth of Monti’s childhood home life.

As a child Monti had a very rough home life. He never knew who his father was and his mother was an addict who wasn’t around often. Monti at times would not know where his next meal would come from or where they would sleep for the night. Eventually Monti was put into group homes, followed by the foster system. He was abused by the first foster parents, which led to his move from that home. By eighth grade Monti was in a home that provided enough support for him to realize his potential. At this point Monti began working harder than he ever had in his life. Never falling off the honors list Monti graduated College with two degrees. Monti helped all of us to realize that no matter our past those around us only see who we are. We are NOT defined by our past.

As a group we began to understand and set our goals. Writing down multiple goals we based them on the amount of time we had to achieve them. The first goal was to be set for the end of the semester, second at our graduation, and the last a goal for five years from now. Some of these goals were shared with the group, and some were made to be more specific. By setting specific goals and raising the bar we are all able to push ourselves harder and be better than we are. We need to start this by being confident in ourselves, building ourselves up, and saying that “We Can”.

Through attending this presentation the audience has the chance to walk away with new knowledge and tools to better ourselves. We had the opportunity to see that we are not alone with the difficulties in our lives. There are others around us going through the same situations. With this knowledge we were able to walk away with better abilities to set goals and how we can build ourselves up to achieve them.

-Ben and Amanda

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