Speaker preaches dedication, not settling for average

Josh Shipp speaks at the Pillars of America Speaker Series sponsored by Glacier Valley Rotary. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO)

There’s not much difference between an average life and an above average life. So, don’t settle for average and you’ll be successful in whatever you do.

That was the message TV host and author Josh Shipp had for an audience of young adults – and former young adults – that filled Centennial Hall yesterday afternoon (Wednesday).

Shipp urged students from high schools in Juneau and Haines to take personal responsibility, look at every obstacle as an opportunity to get better at something, and be dedicated to success.

“Success simplified? How did they do it?,” said Shipp. “Number one, they got started. Number two, they did not quit. Is that simplified? Yes. Is it true? Yeah.”

Shipp talked about his own path to success. Born an orphan, he bounced around to 14 different foster homes, was sexually abused, tried to commit suicide, and finally became the overweight class clown.

He credits his last set of foster parents and one of his teachers for helping him realize his potential.

“Completely changed my life, completely rocked my world,” he said. “I believe every young person is one adult away from being a success story. One adult away. An adult who doesn’t see them for who they were – the obnoxious, class clown, foster kid. But someone who sees them for who they could be – the leader, the communicator, or whatever that is.”

Besides being a teen motivational speaker, the 30-year-old Shipp is host of the TV show JUMP SHIPP on the Halogen network. He’s also author of the book The Teen’s Guide to World Domination. He spoke as part of the Pillars of America Speaker Series, sponsored every year in Juneau by the Glacier Valley Rotary Club.

The series continues next Wednesday with retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Sweeney, whose plane was shot down during Operation Desert Storm.

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