by Shawnna Hunt, Student Contributor
The first Alice Lloyd College convocation ceremony of the Fall 2017 semester was held on September 5, 2017. To open the event, President Joe Stepp of Alice Lloyd College updated students on a number of campus projects. These projects included new furnishings in Carrick Hall (a current women’s dormitory), increased campus security, and a new campus center of which the first phase is underway.
After these opening remarks, Sophomore Biology major Lauren Little, from Hazard, Kentucky, introduced the speaker for the afternoon, Mr. Chad Porter. Chad is from Wilmington, North Carolina, and travelled eight hours to speak to the Alice Lloyd College community.
In his youth, he was very invested in athletics. He played basketball, football, and was on a professional water ski team. Just when things seemed perfect for Chad, his world was turned upside down at the age of fifteen years old. He was involved in a boating accident after a water skiing tournament. His legs were torn from his body. Currently, he has a reattached right leg in addition to a prosthetic left leg.
After the accident, Mr. Porter began to question God and his motives. Chad noted that he attended church services every Sunday morning, every Sunday night, and every Wednesday night. Chad recalls repeating one single question as he was alone – “Why me?” He, as well as many others, believed that bad things shouldn’t happen to good people, though he knows that isn’t how the world works. Life happens. Porter is sure to tell audiences that it’s okay to ask why. One shouldn’t wear an “I’m fine” mask, because a mask only delays an individual from dealing with their problems.
This is where Porter’s faith was strengthened. He learned that there will be evil in the world, but God most definitely does not create that; however, he does have the ability to turn your life around when you would least expect it.
One of Chad’s biggest beliefs that encourages him to continue moving forward is the power of impact. He ensures his listeners that God doesn’t make mistakes. Regardless of circumstances, there are people you can reach that no one else can. It doesn’t take much to change someone’s life. In closing, Porter led a demonstration to show the power of impact. The activity included all audience members and instructed each of them to turn and hug the people in front, behind, and on both sides of them as well as simply saying “I love you.” After the activity, everyone in the auditorium had a smile painted on their face.
Chad Porter is living proof of the positive impact anyone can have on another individual. Despite his setbacks, Porter is able to educate and motivate through the obstacles he has overcome. While everyone will face challenges in their life, everyone has the opportunity to turn that pain into power. As a part of the Alice Lloyd College community, there is an unspoken obligation to be an example of what hard work, faith, determination, and dedication can result in. After all, in the words of Chad Porter himself, if something is worth starting, it is most definitely worth finishing.