The Saint Francis Student-Athlete Development Center launched the "Become That Someone Speaker Series” this semester (Spring 2016). The series kicked off with Rick Yarosh, retired Sergeant of the United States Army, talking to student-athletes and inspiring them to “become that someone.”
The Inspirational Rick Yarosh
Yarosh was severely injured by an IED in Iraq on September 1, 2006 after being deployed in December 2005.
Over 60% of Yarosh's body was burned, including second and third degree burns. As a result of his injuries, Yarosh had his right leg amputated below the knee, lost both ears, part of his nose, multiple fingers and most of the function in both hands. He spent six months in the hospital at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Yarosh has received numerous honors and recognitions, including a Purple Heart. He joined the Army as a Calvary Scout in 2004. After doing Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Knox, Ky., he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division in Fort Hood, Texas.
Being Someone’s Sweetheart and Hero
Yarosh talked to student-athletes about the program, “Sweethearts and Heroes.” An anti-bullying program, Yarosh explained to students that no matter what their age, anyone can be someone’s sweetheart or hero.
To the students, Yarosh was certainly their sweetheart and hero. He captured the entire audience as he shared his story and offered inspiring words of wisdom.
“I have never heard it so silent,” stated John Krimmel, Associate Director of Athletics.
Yarosh brought his talk to a close with a piece of advice that the student-athletes are sharing with others: “Don’t worry about it; you’ll figure it out.”
Yarosh explained, through his experiences, how he “figured things out” when he was recovering and learning about his new self.
The students were left in awe. They asked questions, talked to him afterward, and one football player even stood up and thanked him for his service.
When asked about the event and Yarosh, Krimmel was at a loss for words on how to even begin summarizing how inspiring Yarosh was.
“Become That Someone Speaker Series”
Yarosh was phenomenal in kicking off the “Become That Someone Speaker Series.” Saint Francis University is happy to have hosted him on campus and is thankful for his service and the service of all those who currently serve, and formerly served, our country.
The series will feature at least two speakers per academic year that embody the theme of "Become That Someone."
The "Become That Someone" theme is part of the story of Maurice Stokes and Mark Twyman and came from a 2008 interview that Twyman did with the New York Post.
"Maurice was on his own," said Twyman. "Something had to be done and someone had to do it. I was the only one there, so I became that someone."
"Become That Someone" has been the theme of the Saint Francis University Athletic Department since the Fall 2012 semester.
Speakers for the series will be selected by the Student-Athlete Development Center staff and Saint Francis University student-athletes.