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Student Written, Student Produced

The Barron Perspective

Student Written, Student Produced

The Barron Perspective

Brad Hurtig Wows Students During Assembly

The motivational speaker stopped by Woodbridge High School to tell Freshman and Sophomores his story of overcoming adversity.
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Emma Lopes
Brad Hurtig (center) poses with a few Barrons after his motivational speech.

Brad Hurtig watched in amusement as students at Woodbridge High School attempted to pick up a water bottle without using their hands. One by one, students used their feet, elbows, and even their mouths to do the simple task. Without hearing Hurtig’s story, picking up the water bottle might seem silly, but those in attendance knew exactly why this was more than meets the eye.

Hurtig, who lost both of his hands in a work-related accident, was giving students a glimpse as to what life was like for him shortly after his accident. Simple tasks that we take for granted were more difficult, and Hurtig was there to share his story of adversity with the Barron community.

“I use water bottles because that’s what my coach used as an illustration for me,” said Hurtig. “He challenged me to find a way and I like to do the same with other students to challenge them to find a way.”

“Find A Way”

A superior athlete at his Northwest Ohio high school, Hurtig went to work after his sophomore year. Days into his work, a faulty sensor in a heavy-duty press caught his hands, which were almost instantly amputated. Hurtig’s life was changed in an instant, and he wondered if he would ever be able to play sports again.

Through hard work and determination, Hurtig was able to return to the football field not long after his accident occurred. Although he required help, Hurtig was happy to simply be back on the field. This motivation changed on a hot summer day, with Hurtig getting a message that would change his outlook forever.

Needing a drink in the summer sun, Hurtig asked his coach to help him. His coach, instead of place the bottle to his mouth, threw the bottle on the ground. When Hurtig looked at him, his coach said “if you’re thirsty enough, you’ll find a way.” Hurtig did find a way, and those three words ended up being the mantra that would guide him.

Back on the field, Hurtig continued his football career, where he shined. His senior year where he led his team in tackles, and was named to the All-Ohio First Team.

“I know that we all have different struggles and adversities that we face in life,” said Hurtig. “Sometimes they are visual, like mine, and other times it is internal…I felt like this was an opportunity to encourage people right where they are to press forward and find a way.”

Motivated Together

Hurtig’s story is an amazing example of what humans can do through extreme adversity. Sometimes, we take for granted the things that normally come easy to us. Hurtig’s message to students was that no matter the circumstances, you can continue to accomplish amazing things.

“There’s a range of emotions that students have,” said Hurtig. “They go from happy to sad and empathy, then the feeling of ‘I can do this too.’ If he found a way, I can find a way.”

The Barron community thanks Mr. Hurtig for his amazing message, and The Barron Perspective wishes him well in the future!

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About the Contributors
Mr. Jago, Editor-In-Chief
Mr. Jago is an English teacher, soccer coach, and softball coach at Woodbridge High School. Graduating from Kean University in 2013, he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism/Communications. Mr. Jago earned in master's degree in Educational Leadership from Thomas Edison State University. He has been with Woodbridge High School since 2015, teaching Sophomore and Senior English, AP Capstone, Graphic Novels, and he was named adviser for the school newspaper in 2023. In his free time, Mr. Jago loves video games, music, and spending time with his family and friends.
Emma Lopes, Photojournalist
Emma Lopes is currently a sophomore at Woodbridge High School. This is her first year being a Photojournalist as well as being in journalism. Emma has been dancing out of the school since she was three and is starting her first year for Varsity Spirit Dance this year. She loves being around friends and family. Other hobbies Emma likes to do are going to the City, taking pictures, and loves the holidays. Emma’s favorite shows are Friends, How I Met Your Mother, and Shameless. Traveling is also another thing Emma likes to do. Going to Europe is one of her favorite places to travel to. Portugal and France are her absolute favorites. Some Sports that she likes are hockey, dance, and football. The teams Emma Likes to watch are the 49ers and the New Jersey Devils Hockey Team. Emma is excited to make contributions to journalism. 

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