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Ojeda encourages students to live it up

October 1, 2010

“Life is not measured by the breath we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” This quote is the quote that motivational speaker Carlos Ojeda Jr. made very clear when he spoke at Monmouth College on Tuesday Sept. 28, in the Highlander Room. In honor of Latino Heritage Month, the college invited Ojeda to give one of his motivational speeches. Ojeda is known as an educator/motivator/communicator/poet with a passion for sharing how important life is to those he speaks too.

Ojeda was born in Newark, N.J., and spent most of his childhood living in a Puerto Rican atmosphere. It was at age 10 that Ojeda witnessed his first murder, causing his parents to pick up and move to Reading, Pa., where according to his website, his immigrant parents saw opportunities for themselves and for their first-generation Puerto Rican children. From there Ojeda was pushed into the importance of education and learning. After scoring 1,100 points on his SAT, Ojeda was offered a full scholarship to Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. It was at Bloomsburg University where Ojeda would have to face some of the toughest moments of his life with racism. 

After experiencing rough situations throughout college and the loss of important family members, Ojeda found himself with a wake-up call about needing to live life to the fullest. He then quit his corporate job and became obsessed with sharing the importance of life with people all around the world.

Ojeda began telling his story for free to students anywhere that he could. He was then discovered by a motivational speaker who mentored him. Ojeda has traveled to 42 different states telling thousands his story and motivating the youth and even professionals to do all the things they want to do in life. Ojeda is also the CEO of Cool Speak, a company he created that strives toward mentoring youth. 

According to the website, Cool Speak is a youth engagement company providing speakers, programs and events geared toward motivating middle school, high school and college students and the professionals that serve them. Cool Speak tries to provide inspiration so that learning can take place allowing each and every student and professional to achieve their fullest potential.

When people ask Ojeda why he is a youth motivational speaker, he claims he has to laugh, because he did not intentionally choose his profession.

“This profession chose me, I was minding my own business, living my uneventful life,” said Ojeda.  “Then I realized there were a lot of kids out there who were going through things like I did, but unable to get to where I got.”

BY NICOLE OLIN
Co-News Editor

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