YOU MATTER: Bobby Petrocelli visits Frostburg Campus
On Wednesday, Oct. 11, Frostburg State University (FSU) students gathered in the Atkinson Room of the Lane University Center (LUC) at 7 p.m. to attend Bobby Petrocelli’s speech.
Petrocelli, a Brooklyn native, defines his career title as, “an educational, inspirational, motivational speaker and author.” Petrocelli began speaking part-time in 1991, while working as a guidance counselor at a public school. “The special needs kids are the ones I hired at my school to mail out 40,000+ brochures to get my name out since there was no internet back then. They’re the reason I’m here today,” mentioned Petrocelli. He’s been speaking publicly for over 25 years now, beginning full-time in 1995.
After facing the tragic death of his first wife, Petrocelli decided to share his story and dedicate his life to improving the lives of others.
“It all happened gradually. When people found out about my story, I received multiple requests to share it. At one point, it exploded and I haven’t stopped since,” said Petrocelli.
Currently residing in Tampa, Florida, Petrocelli speaks close to 175 times per year, traveling nationwide as he covers almost 25 states annually.
Luckily, FSU was in Petrocelli’s travel plans this year.
“Life does not happen one day at a time. In life, you are always physically in the present. But mentally and emotionally you live in the past and the future, not in the present moment. All we have is this moment,” said Petrocelli at the beginning of his speech.
Petrocelli spoke these same words in his speeches to Clemson University, right before they won the NCAA National Championship in football, and other universities including James Madison. Speaking to sports teams all over the nation, whether it’s the NFL, college sports teams, or high school sports teams, their records usually range between 100 wins and 10 losses following his speeches. Petrocelli prides himself in leading the teams towards the “right path,” as he put it.
Petrocelli went on to discuss an array of tragedies that took place in not only his life, but in the lives of others as well. He told the audience that a 17-year-old girl approached him once, and told him the story of her mother’s suicide. According to Petrocelli, the teenager left her high school English class to answer her mother’s phone-call, while her mother took her own life on the other end of the call. After the girl revealed her self-blame for this tragedy, Petrocelli’s response was, “Your mother was hurting. Your mother was broken. This was the path she chose. She had to hear the voice of the one she loved most before she did this. None of this was your fault.”
“In one moment, she’s thinking there’s something wrong with her and that’s why her mother committed suicide, and in the next moment she’s realizing how loved and valued and treasured she was by her mom,” said Petrocelli.
“You know what happens to most of the people in this room? You let the pain, the hurt, the fear, the rejection, and the brokenness define who you are as a person. You blame yourself after an unfortunate event takes place and it masks who you really are. But, you have never changed who you really are. You’ve got to get rid of those things that have been falsely defining you,” exclaimed Petrocelli during his speech.
Petrocelli examined the human condition from an array of angles, as he connected with almost every person in the room. According to Petrocelli, the two most important words are, “you matter.” He wore a shirt and a wristband that read “you matter” during his speech, since he uses this phrase as the central focus of his mission.
“Pain is inevitable. You’re gonna be hurt, people are gonna hurt you, you’re gonna make mistakes, people are gonna make mistakes against you. How you respond to that pain is vital. Too many people respond to their mistakes and their hurt in the wrong way, and they continue on the negative path that leads to destruction. I want you to know how much you matter, how valuable you are, how much I love and treasure you,” Petrocelli told the audience during an emotional moment.
With a great turnout and positive feedback from students, Petrocelli plans to return to FSU next year.
Bobby Petrocelli’s contact information is listed below.
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