A student with a stutter overcame his fears and delivered an inspirational commencement speech at his university graduation, telling others to "dare instead of doubt".
Parker Mantell graduated from Indiana University in the US, and was given the prestigious role of being the student commencement speaker for his class. Citing Beethoven's deafness, Ray Charles' blindness and Einstein's dyslexia, he told his audience to overcome their fears and dare to achieve their purpose.
He told students: "As the student commencement speaker, perhaps my admission that I am far from the best orator comes to you as a surprise. As a person who stutters, I can be no more certain that in this room are thousands of people who are 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 must be heard.
"Far too often, society has instilled and reinforced the idea that those of us with disabilities are to remain disabled -- perhaps even incapable. Whether one is bound to a wheelchair, suffers from ADHD, or repeats the first syllable of a word as I do, we have been tacitly, yet resoundingly told to doubt both ourselves and our abilities.
"Doubt, as has been observed, kills more dreams than failure ever will."
He spoke in front of 6,000 people, pushing his fellow students to strive for greatness. Following the speech, he said he had received inspiring letters from parents who have children with disabilities, saying they no longer doubted themselves, and they now dared themselves instead.Suggest a correction