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“Ever climb Mount Everest? Do you want to?”
Erik Weihenmayer was once asked these questions – questions that may not seem out of the ordinary, except Erik Weihenmayer is blind! Erik’s response, to dare to dream in the face of impossible odds, has lead to an extraordinary life of achievement and accomplishment. Shattering the expectations of the barriers and limitations of individuals with disabilities, Erik inspires others to transform their lives into something truly miraculous. Loosing his sight at age 13 to a rare eye disorder, retinoscheses, Erik Weihenmayer is the first blind climber in history to summit Mount Everest, and The Seven Summits (the highest mountains on each of the seven continents) – an endeavor only an elite group of mountaineers has ever accomplished. A former middle school teacher and wrestling coach, Erik is one of the most exciting and well-known athletes in the world. At the invitation of Comprehensive Juvenile Services, Erik is coming to Fort Smith to share his inspiring life story and motivational message with local youth. Erik will be the keynote speaker at The Fort Smith Youth Leadership Summit, a one day leadership conference of exciting topical youth-oriented workshops, teambuilding activities, ropes course, and mini-concert. The event will be held at the Fort Smith Convention Center. Erik’s inspirational signature message to youth will be “Reach! Climb High!” The Summit will also feature a brown bag mini-conference for parents, educators, and youth leaders. Event open to youth of all ages. Cost is $75 (includes lunch and signature t-shirt). Adult registration $50. Contact Comprehensive Juvenile Services for group/organizational discounts, and scholarship information. For registration and press information call 479-785-4031, [email protected], or visit