Disabled person with motivational message to speak at UWP

November 5, 2002

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PLATTEVILLE - Born without any legs, Matt Glowacki has been asked a wide range of questions about his life, from, "Can you dance?" to "How do you go to the bathroom?" Matt has heard them all and isn't afraid to answer any of them. On Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in the University Room of the Pioneer Student Center, Glowacki will be speaking on "Expectations". The University of Wisconsin-Platteville welcomes everyone to this free event co-sponsored by Campus Programming and Relations (CPR) and Students Preparing for Success (SPS) .

Let Glowacki demonstrate the value and importance of having high expectations for everyone. Without them, an individual's true potential can never be achieved.

Glowacki was born in 1973 in Janesville. His birth drew attention because even though he was healthy, he was born without legs. From the very beginning, his parents made sure to provide him with every opportunity to participate in a normal life. At age 3, Matt became involved in community activities and went on to graduate from Janesville Craig High School. In his senior year Matt earned the rank of Eagle Scout, served as the governor of the State of Wisconsin's Key Club District, and managed his own business. He continued his education and community involvement at UW-Whitewater, graduating with a bachelor of arts in communication degree with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in U.S. history.

While attending college and playing wheelchair basketball, Matt developed and administered a community awareness program entitled, "What it Takes: Cornerstones for Success." Matt took this program to more than 50 schools each year, bringing his message and competitive wheelchair sports to more than 25,000 students across the state. He has also served as an informative speaker and consultant for audiences made up of parents, administrators and business professionals at statewide and national conferences.

Look back at the people who have made a difference in your life. Most likely, they are people who saw something in you that you could not see for yourself. They helped you develop and nurture your potential, and because of their expectations, you experienced success in a new area. Glowacki knows how important high expectations are for everyone, because in many situations expectations are lowered for people with a disability out of compassion by society. Through the way Matt lives his life, he proves that real compassion is a level playing field with high expectations for everyone, not excuses for someone's inability.

What makes a person successful? What is the driving force behind success? How are some people able to reach you and change your life forever? These questions have various answers. However, the common denominator is expectations.

Expectations are the guideposts to reaching potential. Whether developed privately or imposed through an outside force, they define a level of success for everyone. When the expectations for an individual are based on perceived inabilities, or disabilities, it can prevent people from realizing their own potential and developing self-esteem. This is also true for the able-bodied community. Everyone should have strong personal expectations that challenge and promote personal growth.

Glowacki will not let anything keep him from accomplishing his goals, especially his life-long endeavor to educate people on the meaning of the word "handicapped". Matt illustrates through his life experiences that people are only limited by their own perceptions. Does having no legs mean you are "handicapped"? When you meet Matt Glowacki you will quickly learn that this word does not apply. Matt is not here to preach, but to teach, and to give an entertaining and enlightening presentation.

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