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IU Commencement Speech Goes Viral
Updated May 27, 2014 8:53 PM | Filed under: Education
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Indiana University Commencement was two weeks ago, but a quick Google search shows people are still watching and listening to the ceremony.

Search for Parker Mantell, and link after link about the recent IU graduate appear from sources like the Huffington Post, the Daily Mail and the "Today Show." Even Perez Hilton chimed in.

Mantell unveiled his stutter in front of 17,000 people at the graduation ceremony and inspired the crowd and countless others with his commencement address despite a stutter that he had mostly kept hidden from his fellow students during his years in college.

"As a person who stutters, I can be no more certain that, in this room and in this hall, are thousands of people who far more talented at public speaking than I am. At the same time, however, I can be no more certain that the message I have to share is one that must be heard," he said.

"Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. If doubt were to be a disease, its cure would be confidence," said Mantell.

"Beethoven was deaf - imagine if he never dared to listen to his calling to compose music. Ray Charles was blind. Imagine if he had never dared to envision that he could touch the keys of a piano. Albert Einstein was dyslexic - imagine if he had never dared to embrace saying things differently by formulating equations. FDR couldn't walk. Imagine if he had never dared to run. Imagine what you are depriving our world of if you never dare to achieve your purpose," he said.

Mantell says that mothers and fathers of children with disabilities have reached out to him since his address, telling him about the positive impact the speech had on their kids.

"I can't thank you enough for saying that, but in the end this is not about me or anything that I've done. This is about people and what I believe that they can become," said Mantell, who was chosen to deliver the speech after the university asked students to apply.

As for his career goals, Mantell, who graduated with a degree in political science with a minor in public management and a certificate from the Political and Civic Engagement program, says he wants to "help people" whether through politics or through law.

To listen to his speak visit www.today.com



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