Parker Mantell is a brilliant student who has a condition that impairs his speech and makes him stutter while speaking.
But he never let that come in the way of what he wanted. His determination and ambition to achieve is truly inspiring. He went ahead and did what he wanted to do and then stood at the podium to talk how his disability never came in the way of his ambition.
He said he owed it to his university and how it made him who he is.
“As a person who stutters, I can be no more certain that, in this room and in this hall, are thousands of people who far more talented at public speaking than I am,” he said. “At the same time, however, I can be no more certain that the message I have to share is one that must be heard.”
He cited Beethoven’s deafness, Ray Charles’ blindness, President Franklin Roosevelt’s inability to walk and Albert Einstein’s dyslexia as examples of disabilities that failed to get in the way of their success. He encouraged his classmates to rise above any doubts they have about their abilities.
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He talked of his high-profile internships with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
“I mention those experiences not out of individual pride or out of vanity, but rather out of desire to share Indiana University’s role in dispelling the idea that someone who is barely able to talk for himself can dream big enough to talk for public servants,” he said. “While any other university might have instructed me to manage those expectations, IU taught me to grow them.”
His message is one that we should all remember and inculcate in our lives:
“Doubt, as has been observed, kills more dreams than failure ever will,” he said. “Yet if doubt were to be a disease, its cure would be confidence.”
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