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Monti Washignton, actor, author, award winning poet and motivational speaker, talks about believing in yourself at the Overman Student Center on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The event was hosted by the Black Student Association and Gorilla Activties Board. Diego Oliva

Monti Washington presents “From the Streets to the Stage”

Monti Washington is an author, actor, award-winning poet and a motivational speaker. On Wednesday, Feb. 25 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Washington visited PSU for his “From the Streets to the Stage” tour. During this event, Washington spoke about his past adversities on his journey, and spoke to students about self-confidence. The event was hosted by the Gorillas Activities Board (GAB) and took place in the Sunflower Room in the Overman Student Center (OSC).  

“Success is attracted to the person you become,” Washington said at the event.  

One of Washington’s messages was that, “We don’t look like our stories.” He spoke to students about their goals, and that it is important to have a confidence that people’s backgrounds do not shape a person.  

“We have this misconception that our experiences and our stories form who we will be one day,” Washington said. “They don’t form you, they inform you.” 

Washington’s motto is “Montivation,” which is a combination of his first name and motivation. According to his website, Montivation.com, his event is meant to be an interactive show for students to engage with him, as he tells how students can overcome obstacles that they may go through.  

Some other universities on Washington’s tour list in Kansas is Emporia State University and Baker University. 

“It started as an extra credit assignment, but I’m really excited I came,” said Madyson Wakeland, senior in elementary education. “It was really fun; I really feel motivated now.”  

Washington has had some hardships in his past. At the event, Washington spoke about how both of his parents were drug addicts. In his youth, he was abused in multiple foster homes, slept in parks and went through other adversities. At the event, he spoke about how he now has two college degrees, is in the progress of writing his second book, and has been in numerous television shows and films. 

“You go through pain, so you can appreciate life without it,” Washington said. 

During the event, Washington interacted with students by having them participate in different activities to display self-confidence and speak about goals that they have for their futures.  

“We really wanted to let people know that they aren’t alone,” said Marissa Galindo, sophomore in justice studies and a GAB committee member. “There are other people that go through the same situations as you (students).” 

Washington’s tour message comes from his book, “From the Streets to the Stage: 20 ways to make it from the streets of your fears to the stage of your dreams,” which was published in 2015.  

“You can’t accomplish a level 10 dream, if you’re confidence is at a level five,” Washington said. 

Washington also spoke about different terms that are meaningful in his journey. One of the terms Washington spoke about was ollin. According to Ollin Women, ollin means “to move and act now with all of your heart.” 

“The word ‘ollin’ really stood out to me,” said Wakeland. “I felt like it was almost a sign for me to be here and listen.”  

GAB plans activities and events for students to attend and they have plans to bring Washington back to PSU in the future. 

“We would definitely want to bring him (Washington) back for a larger scale event,” Galindo said.  

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