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Josh Shipp kicks off the Pillars of America Speaker Series
Published: 04/26/2012 12:45:00
Updated: 05/10/2012 13:07:34

The Glacier Valley Rotary Club is hosting its 20th annual Pillars of America Speaker Series. It kicked off this week with its first speaker Josh Shipp, a teen communications expert, Host of the Halogen cable TV Show Jump Shipp and Author of The Teens Guide to World Domination. We sat in while he was interviewed by Sharon Gaiptman on KINY's Capital Chat who asked him that Quintessential question, "Who Are You?"

"So basically I'm a guy that had a pretty rough childhood, I was left at the hospital by my birth parents, grew up in a dozen different foster homes, I was abused, I was raped, I was suicidal, I was a teenage drunk. You know but a handful of adults refused to give up on me and now I see that as sort of what I do is that I'm sort of repaying that. You know I think sometimes the things in our life that have hurt us the most are actually the things we can use to help other people. You know that handful of adults that refused to give up on me as a kid is why I believe I do what I do now; you know working with young people, working with parents of young people, and anyone that cares about a young person. I truly believe that every young person is one adult away from being a success story, you know someone that can see that kid and say 'Look I know you're screwing up, I know you're causing problems, I know sometimes you drive me crazy and I want to strangle you but I'm not going to see you for who you were, rather I'm going to think about who you could be, and really invest in that and believe in that.' And for me that's made a huge difference, you know I ended up with a great set of foster parents, they weren't perfect, no parent is, but they refused to give up on me, unconditional support, unconditional love, those things that anyone can give to a kid and that made a huge difference."

Next Week's featured speaker will be Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Kevin Sweeney, a Desert Storm Combat Pilot who has a rather dramatic story to tell; at the Pillars of America Speaker Series.

By: Rik Pruett -