OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego Middle School welcomed inspirational speaker and former WCW and WWE Wrestling Champion, Marc Mero recently, to share his messages of empowering and encouraging our youth.
Students and staff packed the OMS gymnasium, as Mero’s Heroes, a group of dancers and members of his “Dream Big Tour” rallied the crowd and introduced Mero, who walked out with the Intercontinental Championship Belt he won during his WCW and WWE wrestling career in 1996.
With the words “Dream Big” on the screen behind him, Mero talked about the power of having dreams and goals, writing them down, and then reading those affirmations often towards a desired success.
He shared the book in which he wrote his own dreams to become a professional boxer as a child, and encouraged students to dream big and pursue their goals, and that they, too, can achieve them.
“Never give up, you never know how close you are,” said Mero.
Michelle Cooper, an eighth grade guidance counselor at the Oswego Middle School coordinated the event, and invited Mero to visit their school to spread his inspirational story.
Trading the stadium for a stage, Marc Mero has presented at more than 800 schools across the country, inspiring students to make positive choices.
During his presentation at the Oswego Middles School, Mero shared his personal story of tragedy and triumph in a captivating and entertaining manner.
Mero led students through his own journey, and the consequences of his positive and negative choices, and the lessons he learned along the way.
Mero addressed issues such as bullying, peer pressure, substance abuse, and suicide by sharing his personal testimonies that tugged on students’ heartstrings.
He said that he thought that at a young age, that “success equaled happiness,” but learned later that “happiness equaled success.”
Mero stressed the importance of community, school and family.
Students were inspired to treat themselves and others with respect and to cherish relationships.
“We all have an impact on each others lives,” Mero said, encouraging students to reflect on how they treat others.
A native of Buffalo, Mero’s parents divorced when he was eight years old, with his mother supporting him and his two siblings by working two jobs.
At the age of 12, Mero began playing hockey, eventually becoming his league’s most valuable player.
In 1973, Mero’s family relocated to Liverpool, where Mero played for the Mid State Youth Hockey League and later the Syracuse Stars Junior Hockey Team.
Mero began playing football in his senior year, with his high school team winning the New York State title under the tutelage of future University of Central Florida coach George O’Leary.
In the same year, Mero began training as a boxer under Golden Gloves coach Ray Rinaldi.
Mero went on to win four New York State titles, including the New York Golden Gloves tournament.
Mero intended to become a professional boxer, but his career was sidelined after his nose was broken in an accident.
He would later battle drug addictions and depression and then become a professional wrestling champion, before establishing his “Dream Big Tour” and taking his important story and messages to schools and churches across the country.
“Marc Mero’s compelling message evoked personal reflection, laughter and tears and also installed hope,” said Oswego Middle School Principal Mary Beth Fierro.