Motivational speaker, internationally known celebrity, distinguished author, and inspiration for the movie Rudy, Daniel ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œRudyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Ruettiger stopped by John C. Birdlebough High School (JCB) in Phoenix on November 19th to spread his message of adversity and triumph. Fulfilling his childhood dream of attending the University of Notre Dame and playing football for the Fighting Irish, Rudy, in the only play and game of his entire collegiate career, sacked the opposing quarterback with only 27 seconds left on the clock. RudyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s powerful message focuses on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œgame plans for winning in lifeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â and achieving goals and dreams.
Earlier in the day, Rudy also stopped by Emerson J. Dillon Middle School to present students with his motivational insight. In anticipation of his visit, teachers at both schools showed the film, Rudy, in their classrooms before heading to the auditorium to meet him in person. Several students rushed up to him before the assembly asking, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAre you really him? Are you the Rudy that the movie was about?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Their eyes were wide with amazement as he laughed and confirmed that he was, indeed, the real deal. Student Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) President Aaron Rudy and JCB Principal Greg Molloy introduced Rudy to the stage, followed by a thunderous applause.
He urged students to dream big, never quit, and to find something that truly inspires them. He stressed, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œInspiration is the key to both education and success. When you have inspiration and passion for what you do, you can do anything.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Before leaving the stage, JCB student leader Kate Mercer presented him with an honorary Phoenix Firebirds football jersey, personalized with his name and the number 45 on the back, which was his Notre Dame number. A group of students from the schoolÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Student Leadership Organization stayed after the presentation to get the distinctive opportunity to meet Rudy personally and to ask him questions about his inspirational journey.