United We Stand: “Be You, Be Tru”

Author and Actor Monti Washington gives students inspiration to become successful in their everyday lives

A new semester calls for a new, more successful you.  On Feb. 12 the students of University of Wisconsin-Platteville were given the opportunity to learn some new skills on how to become more successful. Campus Programming and Relations hosted “From the Streets to the Stage” featuring 2011 Arizona Performing Artist of the Year, author and actor Monti Washington. Washington has starred in Netflix movies, She’s with Me and Dude Where’s My Dog, aired in commercials for Verizon and Microsoft and has his own book published, From the Streets to the Stage.

Washington told the audience about how he was able to go from the streets of his mind to the stage of his dreams. Washington has been a motivational speaker for five years and he always wants to be out-doing his former self, which was one of his most emphasized points on Sunday.

“We cannot out-perform the belief we have for ourselves,” Washington said during his presentation.

The program was interactive with the audience, so people were able to step outside their comfort-zones and get a chance to be themselves. Washington had audience members on the edge of their seats waiting to see what would come next. At one point, he asked for a few audience members to come up on stage and tell the world why they believe they are the shit. Washington did this so each person that spoke focused on a positive aspect of their lives instead of focusing on the negative.

“I was pleasantly surprised with this performance. I am going to take these skills that we learned tonight and apply them towards my life,” junior forensic investigation major Natalie Walton said.

CPR asked Washington to come to UW-Platteville because of a moving performance he put on last spring at the National Association for Campus Activities regionals. He later made it to the NACA Nationals, which was one of Washington’s most memorable moments.

“We picked Monti Washington because he is very inspirational and powerful. I hope people listen and take from this presentation because we are stronger together than we are separate,” senior media studies major and CPR event producer Justin Toney said.

In a closing activity, the audience was able to put this statement to the test. Washington had the audience participate in a game that allowed everyone to see that so many others share the same story as them, and that they never should feel alone. This presentation was a mix of humor and seriousness, but the message that Washington left with everyone was to F.L.Y. which stood for First Love Yourself.

“We don’t look like our stories, because we are greater than our stories,” Washington said.