Students persevere, overcome and lead. On the brink of breaking down, students consistently overcome and empower themselves. They lead and prosper. From the lowest of the lows, students rise to the highest of the heights. Normal students, the very students that ponder if their 8 a.m. theology course is worth it and those students that take the occasional 3-hour nap to procrastinate, transform their lives in an inspirational way. These students, all undergraduates at Gannon, taking the same courses as us all, are Student Spotlight Speakers which were requested to share their stories with any student that wished to attend by the Student Government Association.

SGA allocated for six different nights of speakers to come and share their stories, however they so wished to do so. The different topics include: grinding through the tough times, religious leadership and faithfulness in college, advocacy for change and servant leadership, handling a full plate, being a follower before leading, and stepping out of your comfort zone. Each different talk includes two or three different speakers that share their stories and how they relate to the different topics presented. However, seldom do the stories and speakers approach their prompts the same way. Although they do not have similar approaches, the impact is resounding and correlates with the students present.

The idea spurred from using students to inspire other students – to keep the realization that the power, future and desire lies between us and to take the opportunities presented to us. The resources we need, the ones that will help us through and elevate ourselves, are those that are aiming to achieve those same goals.

Details fixated upon struggles, some common and every day while others fixated upon extreme struggles and other details fixated upon positive experiences that shaped the lives of these individuals. However, their motivation and reasoning to execute and become leaders to make a positive impact was a choice, a choice for betterment. Giving the details or recounting their stories will not do them any justice. There are still speeches left and stories that deserve to be heard.

Natalie Richard and Caitlyn Ebert gave their talk Wednesday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m. on the third floor of Beyer Hall. Austin Grist and Evan DeFalco presented their topic of being a follower before leading on April 5th in the second floor lounge of Finegan Hall (as they promised, it included some comedic relief). And the final talk will be given on April 19 on the Harborview Rooftop Garden by student leaders Amanda Granata, Jordyn Thiery and Josiah Leach. These talks will be enlightening, inspiring, and more than you hoped for; I promise that.

If you love Ted Talks, if you want inspiration or if you want to spend your priceless time at a priceless event, then attend these talks to hear the voices from within, the voices that define your community. If all of this was not motivation enough, rumors (that are most definitely true) are floating around that SGA provides a free meal at the event.