Chairs began to fill as students, faculty, friends and family of the speakers began to filter through the doors of the Hart Main Gym on Feb. 7. Power to Become had officially returned.
“I went three years ago, and I really loved it,” said Chase Rippy, a senior studying public health. “It’s super inspirational. The environment is very positive — where everyone is super supportive of personal growth and career choice and just being a good person and growing in many aspects of our lives.”
Standing behind the curtains, minutes from taking the stage, Damond Watkins, the first P2B speaker of the conference, asked if he should keep the bow tie. Watkins explained that he would be sharing about an experience he’d never spoken of before.
“Each role that we have as husband, father, son, friend, neighbor … God wants us to be balanced,” Watkins said. “And if we’re balanced in our lives then we’re happy. The only way that we’re gonna do that is if we strengthen our confidence and strengthen the most important relationship we have — with God.”
Jinger Watkins, Damond’s wife, explained one thing she takes from the speakers is that they all have gone through trials but were all able to push through them and do great things. What we can take from that is to not give up and to not let failures and hardships in our lives to stop us in our tracks. You can take something from those and then move forward.
“God always has a plan for us, and it’s not always what we think the plan should be, but there is always a silver lining to hardships,” Jinger said.
Tyler Richey, Career and Alumni Services manager, said he hoped students would be able to relate to the speakers, learn from their mistakes and realize that one day, they can be successful CEOs, executives and VPs too.
“After the conference, I just felt so amped up to go do something,” said Landon Hallmark, a sophomore studying economics. “I came back looking for some encouragement, some motivation, for what I want to do in my life.”
Jason Bromley, Vocal Point singer, said a lot went into preparing for P2B and required a lot of practice and choosing clean songs that would be fun and uplighting to the audience.
“I really like the environment,” said Brooke Johnson, a junior studying public health. “The atmosphere is super uplifting, and they started with a prayer which really brought the spirit. We learn more by the spirit than anything so I’ve been having a lot of fun.”
As each speaker took their turn getting mic’d up, they prepared to go on stage in their own way.
Amy Antonelli paced barefoot in a hallway near stage, reciting her address to herself in mumbled tones. Her heels sat on the floor by her water bottle as
Antonelli looked back to her first P2B presentation from five years ago to help her tell students that failure is a part of everyone’s story. She said that little by little, we each become the person we were meant to be.
“It’s inspiring knowing that alumni from this school have gone on to have such success using the principles that we have learned here,” said Noah Wells, freshman majoring in general studies.
The next Power to Become event will be held in October. Richey said to keep an eye out for further details if you’re interested in attending.