The final day of the Member Information Conference is always an inspiring and motivational one, and this year was no exception. We were honored to have keynote speaker and author, Michael H. Goodroe, speak to our 2018 MIC attendees.

Michael is the son of Michael Goodroe Sr. from Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation in Georgia. He was diagnosed at a young age with Autism and severe learning problems. In his presentation, Michael discussed the grueling process of trying to enroll in schools, only to be rejected because of his diagnosis. He spoke about the one school that accepted him and gave him a chance, and how their willingness to work with him made a huge impact on his life.

In addition to the benefits school and dedicated teachers provided Michael, he also found success in several hobbies. To train his mind to focus, Michael took up karate at age five. He credits his teacher and mentor, Mitsanobu Uchida, as one of the people who completely changed his life, helping him earn his third-degree black belt.

Although Michael’s SAT scores were not high enough to be accepted to college, another one of his hobbies helped pave the way for him to continue his education. Michael and his family discovered that he was able to sing classical music. Because of this ability, Michael was granted an exception and allowed to enroll in college at the University of West Georgia to sing with the school’s choir. He went on to complete his BA in History as well as his Master of Business Administration.

Michael now works full time and serves as a motivational speaker. In his book, What Autism Gave Me, he reflects on the many obstacles and rejections he’s faced, and how he overcame them thanks to the reminder that the human drive to succeed is stronger than any diagnosis.

In his presentation at the MIC, Michael spoke frequently about the support he received from his parents and mentors who always encouraged him to keep trying no matter how many times he failed. Michael’s story is one that resonates with all who have faced challenges and obstacles in life. We were proud to have him present at this year’s Member conference.

To order a copy of Michael’s book and learn more about his triumphant story, please click here.