Cornwall Police push kids to succeed

Nick Seebruch

Published on February 17, 2017
Mark Black, public speaker, author, marathoner and heart and double-lung transplant receipient spoke with Cornwall's youth during presentations throughout the week of February 13 (Nick Seebruch/ TC Media).

CORNWALL, Ontario - Throughout the week of Feb. 13, motivational speaker Mark Black spoke to students at all of the schools in Cornwall to tell the students about resiliency.

"Anxiety amongst our youth seems to be a growing trend and we wanted to help provide them the tools to combat it," said Cornwall Community Police Officer Jeff Lalonde.

For 13 years, the Cornwall Community Police Service (CCPS) has conducted these youth symposiums to promote leadership skills in Cornwall's youth.

It all capped off with a final, smaller and more indepth seminar at the Best Western on Thursday, Feb. 16 where speaker Mark Black worked more closely with students on how to cope with adversity.

Four students were selected by each of the high schools in Cornwall to attend this final session with Black.

"Overcoming adversity is about learning adaptation and changing the way you think in a given situation or when your environment changes," said Black.

Black knows quite a bit himself when it comes to overcoming adversity. Before he began public speaking, he was given a bleak prognosis that if he did not receive a heart and double-lung transplant that he would not survive. Given that his chances of finding a donor to replace three of his major organs was dim, he began living life to the fullest.

Mark was lucky, and he did get his life saving transplant, however he now must take a litany of medications in order to be sure that his new organs are not rejected.

His expereince has taught him how to overcome the toughest of challenges and encouraged him to take on new ones.

Where before Mark could not climb a flight of stairs without getting winded, now he is able to run entire marathons.