Sharing the Journey of Empowerment at Central Catholic High School’s “Central State of Mind” Summit

On a crisp February day in 2024, Tony and I had the privilege of addressing a vibrant audience at Central Catholic High School during their fifth annual “Central State of Mind” Human Dignity Summit. This event, dedicated to fostering dialogue and reflection on cultural humility, social awareness, and human dignity, provided the perfect backdrop for our message on the transformative power of storytelling and the unbreakable bonds of friendship.

Embarking on a Shared Mission

Our journey to the stage at Central Catholic is a testament to the enduring friendship and shared dreams that have defined our lives. From the second grade to the present day, our paths have been intertwined, each step marked by challenges overcome and dreams realized. Together, we have embarked on a mission-driven venture that combines the power of motivational speaking with the beauty of artistic expression. Our goal? To inspire, empower, and create a ripple effect of positive change.

A Tapestry of Challenges and Triumphs

Our keynote speech was an intimate glimpse into our lives, highlighting the challenges we’ve faced and the victories we’ve celebrated. We opened with our current endeavors, setting the stage for a deeper exploration of our connected journeys. Delving into the intricacies of living with Cerebral Palsy, we shared not just the obstacles but the triumphs of overcoming them—from the early days of learning to control my (Blake’s) body to the challenges and achievements of adolescence and adulthood.

A Message of Empowerment

Central to our message was the theme of empowerment over victimhood. We stressed the importance of framing one’s narrative not as a limitation but as a catalyst for growth and impact. “How are you using your story?” we asked the audience, encouraging them to see their experiences as valuable chapters in a larger story that needs to be shared. This perspective, we believe, is crucial in fostering a sense of balance and understanding within ourselves and our communities.

The Closing Chapter: Balance and Friendship

As we concluded our address, we reflected on the essence of our partnership—the balance achieved through friendship, collaboration, and perseverance. Our upcoming documentary, “Balance,” aims to delve deeper into these themes, showcasing how true equilibrium in life transcends the physical and encompasses the mental and spiritual realms.

A Lasting Legacy

Our time at the “Central State of Mind” symposium was more than just an opportunity to speak; it was a chance to connect, share, and inspire. We left the stage hopeful that our stories would encourage others to embrace their narratives with courage and authenticity. As we continue on our journey, we are reminded of the power of storytelling to unite, empower, and transform—not just for a moment, but for a lifetime.

In sharing our experiences at Central Catholic, we hope to inspire others to find their voice, share their story, and join us in the ongoing narrative of human dignity and social justice. Together, we can create a world where every story is heard, every challenge is met with courage, and every life is lived in balance.


Blake and Tony are eager to bring their message of empowerment, resilience, and balance to your next event. To invite them to speak and share their inspiring journey with your audience, please email Blake at [email protected]. They look forward to the opportunity to make a lasting impact and connect with more communities through their powerful narratives.

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