Carlmont Alumni and NFL Player inspires and engages

Wyman lifts two students emphasizing the importance of have big dreams on your shoulders

Wyman lifts two students emphasizing the importance of have big dreams on your shoulders

Danielle Hamer, Scot Scoop In Depth Editor

At Carlmont’s first school-wide assembly of the year, former NFL player Devin Wyman gave a spirited presentation addressing various teen issues in fun, creative ways that engaged and captivated students.

Students gathered in the gym on Sept. 19 to watch Wyman’s presentation on suicide, depression, self-image, and other pressing issues in the lives of high school-aged teens.

Wyman, who grew up in East Palo Alto and attended Carlmont, used physical metaphors and his own personal story to illustrate the importance of life lessons like “PUSH: Persevere until something happens.”

Wyman encouraged audience participation and created a comfortable atmosphere for the students at the assembly.  While blasting loud hip hop music, he bent steel with his teeth into the shape of a “U” to represent the idea that anyone who may find themselves at “rock bottom” has a way to the top.

Wyman did push ups with students on his back to underscore the theme of being strong and setting the biggest dreams possible in order to be successful.

After his presentation, Wyman was swarmed by a huge crowd of students asking questions, taking pictures, and requesting autographs.

Junior Emily Rudger said, “The presentation was very relatable and inspiring. It was cool that such an influential person went to the school that we attend. That is what made this speaker assembly one of the best I’ve seen at Carlmont.”

Wyman’s topics were closely related to the subjects of other assemblies Carlmont has done in the past few years, like body image and self-confidence. However, most of the assembly’s audience, who in the past included a large portion of uninterested and chatty students, was moved and generally engaged throughout the presentation.

One explanation was Wyman’s appeal to both female and male insecurities. “Usually, our assemblies address problems that affect only girls, but his presentation related to both guys and girls, which really drew everyone’s attention the entire time,” said junior Stephanie Reiser.

Though much of his presentation was fun and games, Wyman got serious when he told the story of his childhood, and how his involvement with drugs led to an arrest and changed his life.

Senior Melanie Anderson said, “Having someone who grew up going to the same highschool as us talking about such a serious thing as getting arrested was very eye opening.”

Wyman also told of how the lessons he learned, such as, “If I’m trying I’m flying, but if I don’t I won’t,” helped him get back on his feet and gave him the ability to start moving in a positive direction.

There was a heavy silence that hung in the gym while Wyman paced right and left, talking about his many downfalls and triumphs. As a delinquent-turned honor roll student, what this former Carlmont student had to say about making the right choices resonated with many in the room.

Junior Dakota Reagan said of Wyman’s story, “It was very moving.”

As for Wyman, after his professional football career with the New England Patriots ended in 2009, he decided speaking to young people was his calling and would last for many years to come.

Wyman said,“If students were to learn one thing from my presentation, I want them to walk away with knowledge of the three E’s: effort, education, and excellence. I feel these are the most important things in life to strive for.”

Wyman lifts two students emphasizing the importance of have big dreams on your shoulders