Forward

FORWARD: Maddie Price

Maddie Price ’18 talks about the loss of her father, following in his footsteps at Virginia Tech, and how she kept going – all the way to her dream job with Amazon.

In this video, Maddie Price ’18 talks about the loss of her father, following in his footsteps at Virginia Tech, and how she kept going – all the way to her dream job with Amazon.

Forward - Maddie Price
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In the moment, setbacks and failures can feel insurmountable. The good news is there are resources to help us overcome the challenges we face. Sharing our stories is one way to remind ourselves that we’re not alone. Those things we’re feeling? Someone else has felt them, too.

For senior Calvin Rizek, a diagnosis of dyslexia meant finally understanding why he was struggling to recognize, spell, and decode words – and sharing his story with lawmakers and others. It also meant learning how to find mentors and get help.

Forward - Calvin Rizek
For senior Calvin Rizek, a diagnosis of dyslexia meant finally understanding why he was struggling to recognize, spell, and decode words – and sharing his story with lawmakers and others. It also meant learning how to find mentors and get help.
In this video, Virginia Tech senior Kevin Pei talks about learning to balance competing demands in college, including his industrial and systems engineering coursework, his co-curricular job, and his personal life while maintaining his overall health and well-being. When life became too hectic, Pei decided to re-evaluate his priorities and focus his effort on things he knew he could do to the best of his abilities.
In this video, Virginia Tech senior Kevin Pei talks about learning to balance competing demands in college, including his industrial and systems engineering coursework, his co-curricular job, and his personal life while maintaining his overall health and well-being. When life became too hectic, Pei decided to re-evaluate his priorities and focus his effort on things he knew he could do to the best of his abilities.
Forward - Bryan Blackwell
“Sometimes a mountain is placed in front of you to show others it can be moved,” he said. “Even though our obstacles may be different, the feeling stays the same.”
Forward - Andrew Young
Andrew Young believes limitations are self-imposed. Born without a left arm from the elbow down, he taught himself to play guitar using a rubber band and a plastic spoon. Video produced by Lee Friesland, originally published by VT News on April 29, 2019.
My #HokieHiccup: "I do bad on all Tests."
The truth is everyone messes up, and that’s okay! That’s what resiliency is about, bouncing back from mistakes.
Forward - Allyson Bailey
“In high school, I was the girl on the news who suffered from traumatic brain injuries,” she said. “But I’m a whole lot of other things, too. At Tech, I’ve been able to figure out what those other things are.”
Forward - Arden Art
I was homeless, but not in the traditional sense. I came from a wealthy town, grew up in a well-off family, and even went on extravagant family vacations. That past life was halted due to behavioral issues with my brothers and ultimately my parents’ divorce.
Briana Ellis
"This is Home". Hokies say the phrase with pride. After two foster homes, five different high schools, and extensive personal trauma, sophomore Breanna Ellis, a scholarship recipient and first-generation student, also says the phrase with gratitude thanks to the help and hope she has found at Virginia Tech.
Forward: Jack Holland
In this video, hear Virginia Tech cadet Jack Holland, a senior, talk about the spinal injury inflicted during a football game that forced him to re-evaluate his dream of attending the U.S. Naval Academy.
Forward: Kimberly Davis-Riffe
How do you define success? Is it a six- or seven-figure salary, social influence, an esteemed reputation? Is it happiness, fame, independence? Maybe it’s a Virginia Tech degree and a job offer in your chosen field of study.

FORWARD is a series from Student Affairs featuring Virginia Tech students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have faced, overcome, or learned from life's obstacles and setbacks. FORWARD aims to normalize the conversation about hardships we endure and to encourage resilience.

If you or someone you know has a story of resilience to share, please email Tammy Tripp at ttripp@vt.edu.