Issue 438: 10 / 31 / 2012

Daryl 'Chill' Mitchell Encourages Southwest Students

Daryl ‘Chill’ Mitchell in the ...

Daryl ‘Chill’ Mitchell in the wheel chair pictured with SGA and CAB representatives.

October serves as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. In an effort to increase student awareness, Student Activities invited actor, activist, comedian and father, Daryl “Chill” Mitchell to present his story to Southwest students.

Mitchell spent four days speaking to Southwest students at the Macon Cove and Union Avenue campuses and the Whitehaven and Maxine A. Smith Centers. He may be best known for his roles as Dexter Walker on The John Larroquette Show or Leo Michaels on Veronica's Closet. Mitchell also appeared in such movies as House Party, House Party 2, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, and also The Country Bears. His television credits include The Cosby Show, Law & Order, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Game and Brothers, where he stared along with former New York Giant star Michael Strahan.

In November 2001, Mitchell was paralyzed from the waist down in a motorcycle accident in South Carolina. “One thing I learned is that there was no time to sit back and ponder,” he states. “I learned that you will have adversities in life, but it’s not how you fall but how you get up, maintain and keep moving.”

Mitchell says he vividly remembers the doctor telling him that this accident damaged his spinal cord and the prognosis is that you may never walk again. “How do you fathom in your mind someone telling you that you could never walk again?” he asked the crowd. “To this day, I have said that it is up to me and God, I have never stopped trying to walk.”

Mitchell told those gathered  'that it does his heart good to see that they are pursuing the path of higher education.' “Don’t gauge your wealth off of money… the fact that you are seeking higher learning lets me know that you are on the path of wealth,” Mitchell continued. The world is ever changing and with new technology you need to be prepared for those changes. Mitchell also told students that there are no excuses. “If you want to be a musician, don’t wait to be discovered,” he said. “Upload your own video on YouTube. Create a short movie and upload to YouTube, there are no excuses.” He encouraged students to stay in school and graduate.

According to Nikita Ashford, director of Student Activities, this is the first time having a speaker visit more than one campus. The average attendance for this series was approximately 86 students per campus. Student Activities hopes to be able to bring more speakers utilizing the multiple location format.

View more photos of Daryl “Chill” Mitchell's Presentation.