Turn your setback into a setup

Inspiring teens to live with confidence despite challenges

We all know the adage “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Jake Olson has taken that to a whole new stratosphere. He recently shared his personal story of tragedy and how he has worked hard to turn it into something positive that will mold his future.

Olson spoke to an energetic group of teens, adults and cancer survivors at the children’s hospital’s first Grow Confidently event. He shared his remarkable journey of surviving cancer twice and losing his sight — all by age 12. Despite that, he went on to fulfill his dream of playing college football. Yes, you read that correctly. A blind football player.

“God gave me a great gift,” Olson said during his presentation. “I can’t wait to see what my potential can be.”

He explained that losing his sight was viewed by many as a setback; that challenges and obstacles would be in his way. However, Olson believes that being blind has become his biggest setup for a world of possibilities.

In addition to working on a college degree and playing football, he has embarked on an entirely new journey of public speaking to share his story and inspire others.

Olson encourages us to find our own success story; take what life throws you as a potential setback and turn it into a setup.

During the program several attendees told us what they think it means to “grow confidently.” Here’s what they had to say:


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