Sending a Powerful Message

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Seventh graders at Woodland Middle School welcomed nationally recognized youth speaker Rohan Murphy for an inspiring assembly on Sept. 18.

Murphy, who lost his legs at birth, spoke to students about overcoming obstacles and embracing challenges. He also delivered powerful words for the audience to take forward with them as they move towards high school, college and beyond.

“Remember to always be inclusive, not exclusive,” Murphy exclaimed.

Upon entering high school, Murphy joined the wrestling team thanks to encouragement from his coach. He progressed from a beginner to an All-League and All-County athlete prior to graduating. The next challenge he overcame was becoming a three-time letter winner for the Penn State wrestling team and graduating from the university. 

One of the stories Murphy shared to demonstrate his willingness to prove doubters wrong came from his experience at the University of Minnesota wrestling camp with Brock Lesnar, current World Wrestling Entertainment star and a former Ultimate Fighting Champion competitor. As Murphy’s coach, Lesnar put forth a physical challenge that made Murphy question his ability. However, with grit and determination, he conquered the feat. Murphy demonstrated some of the maneuvers, including a pushup pyramid, that highly impressed the audience. 

“Thank you to Mr. Murphy for demonstrating no dream is too big and anyone can overcome obstacles and challenges with the right mindset,” said Principal James Lethbridge.