Mindy Henderson with an 8th grade studentMindy Henderson, Editor-In-Chief, Quest Media for Muscular Dystrophy Association, was invited to deliver a keynote address to the eighth graders attending Henry Viscardi School at The Viscardi Center as they moved up to 9th grade, but in reality, she had a warm, relatable, open conversation with them that they’re sure to think back on for years to come.

“I thought a lot about all of you and what you might like to hear from someone like me as you finish eighth grade and head into high school. I thought a lot about myself when I was finishing eighth grade and going into ninth grade and what I might have been interested in listening to,” began Mindy. “…so what I would like to share with you today are some of the things that I wish someone had told me when I was your age – things that would have saved me a lot of trouble.”

What pearls of wisdom did she wish someone had told her?

  • First, let the people in your life who have lived longer than you have…help. Let them in and listen, as they have a lot of wisdom and good ideas, are on your side and want to see you happy.
  • Second. Failure is good. It has a lot to teach us, and as long as you’re trying, if what you’re trying for doesn’t turn out the way you wanted, who cares what anyone else thinks. Learning from it gets you to where you are going.
  • Third. Even on our worst, most awful day… there are things all around us that are good and can make us smile if we let them.
  • And last… we can all do hard things. Work hard, and don’t quit. Ask for help if you need to as it shows strength and bravery. Learn from what you’ve already tried and keep going.

“We’re so fortunate to have a dynamic leader like Mindy address our Viscardi 8th grade graduates! Her wisdom, grit, humor, and unflinching reflections on all aspects of the lived disability experience embolden her to tell an empowering personal story that will keep our graduates, their families, and our Viscardi educators riveted,” shared Dr. Chris Rosa, President & CEO, The Viscardi Center.

Mindy closed with this positive, energetic message, “I believe in you. And I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you! Go make YOURSELVES…proud.”

About Mindy Henderson
On a mission to leave the world a little better than how she found it, Mindy strives to help create a world where inclusion is the norm, where people see possibilities instead of limitations, and where no challenge is too big to overcome. Driven to build a world that welcomes and includes EVERYONE, Mindy is a powerful leader in disability/ability rights. Her book, “The Truth About Things That Suck” is for anyone who wants a new perspective on adversity when times get tough. The book covers topics such as job loss, rejection, shame, failure, disability and illness, and more, and teaches us ALL that the wrong mindset can be far more disabling than what any wheelchair might represent. Named a 2022 “Woman of Influence” by Success Magazine, Mindy is also the host of “The Truth About Things That Suck” podcast, guest contributor of “Morning Motivations” on CBS Austin’s “We Are Austin” lifestyle morning show and was recently named an “Austin Woman to Watch” by Austin Woman Magazine. Mindy’s passion for making the impossible, possible, is contagious…and she’s not finished yet!