With an instant ability to capture an audience, Spencer’s charismatic and dynamic personality shines every time he speaks. Using humour, honesty and humility, Spencer shares the struggles he overcame after losing his legs at the age of five. Spencer has reached over tens of thousands of people with his encouraging words.
“As Spencer’s vigorous and courageous spirit spread out to us, our eyes opened to the potential possibilities out there. His powerful and defiant attitude toward life proved that anything in this world is possible; if there is anything that stops us from continuing, it is the boundaries that we have created ourselves. Always remember, “Redefine Your Possible.”
“When I approached Spencer I was scared he might not understand my excitement. . . but he welcomed me with open arms and as I sat in the front row tears streamed down my face. . . . I have always been a leader, but on Friday I learnt what it meant to be bigger than myself. . . . I can change the world.”
“Spencer’s dynamic presentations to all of the grade 4-12 students in our district inspired and motivated each audience to make a difference. Hearing Spencer’s life story, and realizing that any barriers can be overcome with a positive attitude, left a lasting impression. Spencer magically connects with the students he interacts with; he makes each student he talks to feel important and empowered to make their schools and the world a better place. Spencer’s keynotes have had a lasting impact and our students continue to see him as their role model as they bring about positive change both locally and globally. We can’t wait to have him back to work with the elementary students in our district!”
“We already knew he would be a great speaker, but our expectations were exceeded. Personally, it was also just really an honour to have the opportunity to meet Spencer. Everyone enjoyed and everyone was inspired- goal achieved.”
“Your personal story touched everyone and your call to action at the end was perfect! . . . I’ve received so much positive feedback following the breakfast; everyone loved meeting you and many have commented that now they feel even more compelled to continue with their volunteer work. Your enthusiasm is infectious!”
“Spencer really motivated our students to “be the change” and to imagine that anything in their lives is possible if they want to make it happen. Hearing about Spencer’s recent summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and also of his connections to Kenya, was truly inspirational. No one will forget their time with Spencer! “
“As a result of Spencer’s visit, I will try much harder to empower the victims of bullies and encourage them to step forward with their story. I will observe more closely and intervene right then and there if I see someone being bullied. I was bullied when I was younger and only one person stood up for me. I’ve told my story to lots of people, and because of Spencer’s visit, I know I want to tell even more people. I can see how Spencer overcame the bullying and is changing others’ lives.”
Inspirational and charismatic, Spencer West speaks candidly about the struggles he overcame after losing his legs at the age of five. He speaks about overcoming stereotyping and bullying, about finding meaning and happiness in a material world and how he never lost the hope or courage needed to surmount personal obstacles. Infused with humour and humility, his thought-provoking message inspires people to find opportunity in every challenge. With every speech, Spencer leaves an indelible mark on his audiences, instilling hope and strong leadership so that they can inspire others to create positive change.
In 2008, Spencer went on a volunteer trip to the Maasai Mara region of Kenya, where he helped build a school in a rural community. During this trip, he met and befriended local young people striving to overcome incredible challenges every day. Spencer credits this experience for helping him recognize his true calling—to motivate and inspire people around the world as a voice for social change. He now serves as an international leadership facilitator in Kenya, India and at the Arizona–Mexico border, leading hundreds of students on Me to We’s international volunteer trips.
Since he began speaking, Spencer’s inspiring words have reached millions of audience members around the world, including corporations, students and educators, faith-based groups and families. At We Day events, Spencer has captivated tens of thousands with his keynote address, featured nationally on CTV. At these events he has shared the stage with influential figures His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Jane Goodall, Rick Hansen, former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, Mia Farrow, Martin Sheen and Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams, and musicians such as Jason Mraz, Hedley and Nelly Furtado.
In May 2011, Spencer received the Fervent Global Love of Lives Medal from Taiwan’s Chou Ta-kuan Cultural and Education Foundation. On November 5, 2011, along with his hero, Rick Hansen, Spencer joined the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay as a Man in Motion Medal Bearer.
In 2011, Kenya experienced its worst drought in 60 years, and the effects are still being felt. In this time of need, Spencer decided to give back in his own unique way—by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. His extraordinary feat in June 2012 attracted worldwide media attention, including CTV, CBS, the Telegraph, People magazine, the BBC and even TMZ. With the world watching, Spencer successfully reached the summit of Kilimanjaro, raising over $500,000 to bring sustainable clean water projects to communities affected by the drought. Once again, Spencer had redefined possible. His journey can be seen in the documentary Redefine Possible: The Story of Spencer West, which debuted in fall 2012 at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).Spencer also shares his incredible story with the world in his memoir, Standing Tall: My Journey.
On May 6, Spencer West faces another challenge, as he begins an epic 300-km water walk from Edmonton to Calgary to raise money for Free The Children’s Water Initiative, a year-long campaign to provide 100,000 people around the world with permanent sources of clean water.
Whether from conference stages, stadiums or volunteer camps in the Maasai Mara, Spencer’s words have encouraged millions of young people to become more socially involved in their communities and in the world.
(Appeared in The Calgary Herald April 24, 2013) At first glance, a 300-kilometre trek from Edmonton to Calgary doesn’t seem [...]
(Appeared on CTV Calgary April 24, 2013) Click here to watch on CTV News Calgary
(Appeared on CTV Edmonton April 23, 2013) Click here to watch on CTV News Edmonton
For most of us, climbing Africa’s tallest mountain is an impossible achievement. Now imagine doing it without legs. Well, that’s [...]