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Bracken said success is not just having a dream, but working hard. Coaches, on and off the field, taught Bracken discipline and focus, he told Tuesday's crowd.
An audience filled with hundreds of college students and faculty members listened as Sam Bracken talked about overcoming obstacles, specifically being abused by his stepfather, drinking at the age of 9 and being abandoned by his mother at the age of 15.
"It is natural to feel really sorry for yourself, just do it quickly," he said. "Change starts with personal initiative. Be better instead of bitter."
Bracken said he learned to make better decisions to stop his downward spiral.
KENNESAW A former Georgia Tech football player held back tears and his Nike Presto All Red
his high school years, Bracken earned a full scholarship to play football at Georgia Tech, where he held a starting position and graduated with honors.
Bracken said it was a struggle to put into writing, "the evidence of what happened to me."
Laura Saunders, 22, who is a nursing student and part of the KSU Dance Team, said she attended the convocation after receiving an email as part of a blast sent out to Nike Air Presto Neutral Grey anyone tied to KSU's athletics department.
When he arrived in Georgia from his hometown of Las Vegas, Bracken carried everything he owned in an orange duffel bag, which he showed to the audience 40 years later.
"It helps put things in perspective," Fortner said. "No matter how you start, you can really elevate yourself and achieve something."
Dreams are hard work
Fortner said Bracken's story shows there can be success after a childhood spent struggling, and reading the book is a chance to learn more about his life.
Jon Fortner, 22, who plays club sports like paint ball and studies criminal justice, made sure to get a book.
Copies of the book were given for free to KSU students and Bracken signed copies after the convocation.
Bracken said the greatest achievements in a person's life come from having someone believe in you.
with positive people and get to work accomplishing your goals."
Bracken said a horrific past can often lead to lifelong path of destruction. That is why Bracken has co founded the Atlanta based Orange Duffel Bag Foundation, which mentors at risk youth with a focus on foster care children.
Bracken said his advice to the students is "have a bold vision for yourself, surround yourself Nike Presto White On Foot
"I think it is amazing to see how far he came," Saunders said.
Football star inspires KSU students with life story
Saunders said it is always good to get advice on how to improve yourself.
"I am not a legend in my own mind," Bracken said. "To think you can succeed in life alone is an error."
An inspirational gift
voice cracked multiple times as he shared about his childhood during a convocation Tuesday morning at Kennesaw State University.
The symbol of his humble beginnings is also highlighted in his book, "My Orange Duffel Bag: A Journey to Radical Change."
Despite being homeless throughout most of Nike Air Presto Sneakerboot
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