The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


February 14, 2009

Two special high school seniors inspire others

Josh Wilson has big plans for his future post-high school. He’s considering three different colleges and several majors.

He’s not yet sure what he wants to be when he grows up. However, he is sure that, regardless of the career path he chooses, he’ll live his life in a way that inspires others.

Josh is different from some of the kids at Shady Spring High School. Not because he has cerebral palsy, has endured 26 surgeries to date and uses a wheelchair to travel from class to class, but because of his high spirit and amazingly positive outlook on life.

“I’m the type of person who would try to do anything for anybody,” the senior says.

“I’ll love you and I’ll do what I can for you. It’s not about me, it’s about you. I try to put others first.”

Most of the time, Josh does things for himself. Why ask others for help if you can do it yourself, he asks.

“In order to get what you want and need in life, you’ve got to work at it. It doesn’t just come to you on a silver platter.”

He says he’s learned that people will work with you as long as you remain humble and are never demanding.

“You get what you deserve. Don’t count on others to do things for you. If you can do it without assistance from others, get up and do it yourself.”

Life with a disability is not easy, Wilson says, but you learn to do what you can. He says he never allows his disability to hold him back from fulfilling his dreams.

You have to stay encouraged, stand up for yourself, be there for others, tell others you love them, and you’re good to go, he says.

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