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Timothy Alexander Speaks at Virtual Student Assembly
Laine Williams

The Altamont School was honored to have Timothy Alexander (TA) speak during a virtual school-wide assembly Feb. 4, 2021. He came at the invitation of the Miree Center Student Advisory Board.

TA knows what it takes to beat the odds. No matter the obstacle that comes his way, he's determined to persevere and endure until the end. His drive helped him become a college football player when many believed that dream was impossible due to a car accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. He is a living example of his quote: "We don't need it to be easy, we just need it to be possible."

The members of the Miree Student Advisory Board desired that the Altamont community use TA's story to become more confident in their own abilities, more self-reflective, more empowered to lead in hard times, and more resilient as they face the challenges that life presents them.

Below are a few highlights from TA's conversation with the Altamont community about attitude, mindset and belief:

"Difficulties are challenges that lead to growth. In order to do what you want to do, you have to do what you need to do. We have to learn how to accept our circumstances unconditionally. The only thing constant in life is change."

"I believe, right where you are, that your positive response would allow you to be unstoppable. The message is this: it's not about what you go through, it's about what you grow through. Your growing moment has everything to do with how you look at problems. I am just like you. I have had ups and downs just like you. But my perspective is that my down moments led to my up moments."

"I finally said, 'I'm going to stop comparing myself and I'm going to control what I can control.' What are things you can control? You can control what you say. If you had a bird on your shoulder and that bird's only job was to echo what you said, what would that bird say?"

"Our mindset can either move us forward or backwards. In order to make a difference, I have to accept that I'm different. Hard work works. What successful people are great at is working very, very hard."

"Students, you are given the opportunity every day to go and be the best version of yourself. And guess what, you don't have to work on that alone. You have great teachers here that believe in you just the way that you believe in yourself."

"In this life, it's not what you hope for, it's not what you think you deserve, it's what you work for and earn. I challenge you to make this year one of the best years of your life."

Thank you, TA, for sharing your message of hope and resilience with our community!

As we reflect on these messages, we also want to remind our students and families that while resilience and positivity can help you to reach your goals and live a fulfilled life, you are not expected to reach them alone. After almost a year of confronting challenges related to COVID-19, there is no doubt that life throws many challenging and overwhelming circumstances at us. It is always okay to ask for help. As Mr. Alexander says, "in order to do what you want to do, you have to do what you need to do." In his story of overcoming obstacles, Mr. Alexander leaned on strong support systems, including mental health counseling.

If you are facing a challenge that seems insurmountable, remember that it is okay to lean on the support systems in your life. Our school counselor, Mrs. Garrett, is always available to set up a time to talk. Reach out to her at

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