Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Lesson Learned: Speaker Drives Home an Important Message on Drunk Driving

Athens MidDay reporter Ryan Basford spoke with motivational speaker Jim Rockwell about his experience with drunk driving. Rockwell, who suffered lifelong injuries as the result of accident while driving drunk at the age of 16, now uses that experience to deter students across the country from drinking and driving.

Some people think drunk driving is a minor issue, but Jim Rockwell begs to differ. Rockwell is a motivational speaker who has toured the United States bringing his "Rockwell Project" and his message to 300,000 high school students. Rockwell brought that message home to students in Athens yesterday.

A crowd of about 5,000 high school students at the Convocation Center attended "Impact 2007," a program aimed at deterring high schoolers from drinking and driving. Rockwell was the keynote speaker, recounting his experience as a drunk driver at the age of 16. When he was in high school, Rockwell caused an accident that nearly ended his life. He was pronounced dead at the scene and was in a coma for six weeks. Rockwell came out of the coma and went through seven weeks of physical therapy.

Rockwell had to go through speech therapy, physical therapy to learn how to walk, and exercises to re-learn how to eat. After years of rehabilitation, he is now able to live independently, although his motor skills and his sight are impaired.

Rockwell's career as a motivational speaker centers around the "Rockwell Project" in which he recounts his experience and shares his message with students across the country. He stresses the importance of responsible decision-making.

No comments: