October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and to bring local awareness to what this means, former democratic candidate for Governor Billie Sutton of Burke brought his message to Madison Middle and High School students on Thursday.
Sutton told the students about how his goal in life was to be a world champion saddle bronc rider and how that dream got cut short after he was paralyzed in a rodeo accident twelve years ago today.
Sutton was 23-years-old at the time of his accident and a student at the University of Wyoming, where he had received a full-ride scholarship for rodeo. He said he was determined to finish his degree in Business Finance, and after that he said his family and his community helped him persevere and move forward.
Sutton went on to work as an Investment Executive at First Fidelity Bank in Burke, and was elected to serve in the state Senate in 2010, where he served for eight years. Last year, Sutton campaigned in and lost in a close Governor’s race, a challenging experience that he doesn’t regret taking on.
Sutton said that one in five people live with a disability of some sort. He told the students that they need to believe in themselves and have a positive attitude in order to succeed, and to treat people how they would want to be treated.
Sutton told the students that attitude is a large part of what will make them successful, and that they need to give 110-percent in whatever they choose to do because they won’t know when it could be their last chance to do it.