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UMPI Distinguished Lecturer, Spencer West, discusses “Redefining possible”

| November 14, 2013

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Spencer West has not let losing his legs at an early age stop him from dreaming big. Thursday night, he delivered his talk The Power of We: over coming obstacles to make a difference, to members of the community.

“I’m really excited we are here to do a community event just to talk about social responsibility, and sort of looking at challenges differently.” Said West.

West was born with a genetic disease that caused the muscles in his legs not to work, and therefore, had them removed as a child. After his surgery Spencer and his family were told that he would probably never be a functioning member of society.  After hearing this news he set out to prove them wrong, and prove them wrong he has! In 2008 he found his true calling through working with an organization called Me to We.

“I’ve been talking to communities and students and people around the world saying you need to get involved, you need to fund raise, when I had never really done it myself.. I mean I had worked for the organization, I represent them, but I had never done it. I wanted to join the ranks so to speak, so my buddies and I came up with this idea to climb mt. Kilimanjaro.” said West.

By climbing he raised over half a million dollars for Clear Water, at the time East Africa was facing one of the biggest droughts they had seen in over 60 years.  This is where he found his story could inspire others.

West now leads hundreds of students on me to we volunteer trips, and gives motivational speeches all over the world.  At UMPI students were beyond inspired.

Derek Boudreau a Junior at UMPI said, ” The stuff that he has accomplished makes me feel like I can do, pretty much anything.”

Miranda Bickford a Freshman at UMPI said, “I felt like he was so heart felt about it, he was just telling those kids like you are worth it and you can do whatever you set your mind to.. It is possible, look at me I can do this and I know you can do this as well.”

Brianna Hamilton a Freshman at UMPI added, “For Him to make that much of an impact, think about what we can do if we set our mind to it.”

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