Dr. Paul Stuart Wichansky

   Sharing the voice and vision of courage and optimism.
Motivational and Keynote Speaker for Schools, Colleges, Companies, and Organizations.


You have inspired me to fulfill my dreams. When I saw your grandmother today, I saw her ghostly outline standing right behind you during the presentation this morning. She was a little bit taller and had short curly hair. She was looking at the audience and then looked at you and smiled, and then she left. She seemed like she was very proud of you and I could tell that she really loved you. -- New Jersey 8th grader

The entire room was mesmerized - except for the laughter. Because that's what Paul does - he shares his life story and experiences with such joy, energy, and levity that you can't help but embrace the moment - embrace him. He motivates without even trying - he does it as effortlessly as he breathes the air around him. It's who he is, it's what he does, it's how he lives.

He has a heart full of love, a head full of stories, and a mouthful of positivity for anyone who ever felt, if only for a moment, unworthy, unwanted, unloved. You leave the room feeling jubilant just to be alive.

And make no mistake about it: there are also tears - but they aren't for Dr. Paul and the struggles he has overcome. They are for every minute you lost ever doubting yourself, letting someone else take your power, getting angry, or overcome with uncertainty. The tears release you and Dr. Paul empowers you - to live life and love life, to the fullest. -- Andrea Davis, parent

Paul WichanskyIn our one hour together, Dr. Paul, you have improved my self-esteem. I truly believe that you have changed me for the better. At the end of your presentation, I came up to you with my friend who said to you, "Thank you for coming." I just shook your hand, said "Hi," then looked away and kept crying. Your speech was so powerful that I couldn't even look at you.

You are one of the greatest people who I have ever met in my life. You are now one of my role models, and one day I hope I can be equally as inspiring. I would like to help change the world for the better, like you! --
9th grader

"From the bottom of my heart, Dr. Paul, thank you. You gave me courage today, you gave me hope, and you made me smile again. Whenever I start to feel down about the world, it is incredibly comforting to know that people like you exist - that you are out there somewhere, taking chances and making dreams come true. I hope you know what a special person you are.

There aren't too many Pauls on this planet. People like you are one in a million. But even if we can't all be Paul, we can still all be someone. And that is enough. That is more than enough. In truth, that is everything. --
New Jersey 11th grader

Dr. Paul is simply the most inspirational person I have ever met. He and I have formed a wonderful relationship since meeting many years ago at Rutgers University. I have had the honor of sitting in on several of Paul's motivational assemblies and I have seen, first-hand, the impact he has on everyone from elementary school children to corporate professionals.

Paul's reflections on diversity and the unique abilities of individuals are captivating and are sure to leave an impression on even the hardest of hearts. Paul's story is not one you will soon forget. --
Anthony Nugnes, Lowe's Companies, Inc.

High school can be a challenge for many teens and being reminded of both the greater challenges in life and also the need to look ahead and stay positive was reinforced in your message. As we stood today to give a standing ovation to you, it was not as amazing as seeing you stand for us. -- Marshall Cohen, Massachussetts class president

When does a PTO meeting result in a heartfelt standing ovation? Or how often can you feel the palpable joyous emotion emanating from the audience after a speaker has shared his message? This is precisely the effect that Dr. Paul Wichansky had among our parents! His message about living your dreams each and every day and always interacting to make the lives you touch better is empowering. Dr. Paul connects with his audience through humor and wisdom with simple ideas that truly resonate with each individual. He creates moments of clarity and purpose that effectively inspire action. Everyone walks away changed and renewed. And his effect on our students is even more powerful! When our children look back at those moments in school that set the direction of their lives, many will recall their interaction with Dr. Paul as life-changing. It's a memory that will continue to shape their futures. -- Lisa Martone, New Jersey middle school PTO

Paul Wichansky meets Bill BradleyI appreciate your dedication to community service and [the] outstanding contributions you have made to the quality of life in your community. You should take pride in your accomplishment. -- Bill Bradley, former New Jersey senator

As a college professor for over 30 years, I've had hundreds of guest speakers in my classes: famous athletes, winning coaches, world-class experts, even the governor of the state! Only one of these speakers has ever received a standing ovation from my students: Dr. Paul Stuart Wichansky. College students are appreciative; they are just a little reluctant to show it! Not so with Dr. Wichansky. He stole their hearts. For some, he changed their lives. How do I know? My students have told me, sometimes years later.

Dr. Wichansky has spoken in several of my classes and, every single time, it was an amazing event. He is a remarkable speaker and even a more remarkable person. Dr. Wichansky is easily the best speaker in America. --
Rob Gilbert, Ph.D., Professor of Sport Psychology, Montclair State University

Paul was outstanding! His assembly to the entire high school body was one of the best programs I have ever witnessed. The students were mesmerized, the faculty was totally focused, and I was tearing! Paul's positive attitude, sense of humor, and brilliantly executed video delivered his message(s) home to all in attendance. My grandchildren are in awe of superheroes such as Batman, Spiderman, and Superman, but Paul is now their real superhero.

You know the students are engaged when you can hear a pin drop, when students ask pertinent questions, and when the assembly ends and students and staff gather around to shake the presenter's hand. I cannot sing his praises enough. I know those students left that assembly with the attitude that they can realize any dream if they put their minds to it. --
Mary Jane Parke, administrator of curriculum, North Arlington schools

Bristol Myers SquibbDear Mrs. Wichansky, I want to share with you how very moved I am by your familiar story and the fantastic man you have raised, your son Paul. Paul came to host a presentation last week for my pharmaceutical company and I literally wept with joy and hope through his entire, riveting story. As a mother of five, I was most impressed by the acknowledgement and deep gratitude he gave to you and your family. Life holds many challenges, some greater than others, but your family has triumphed over a big list of unique challenges. To see and hear your son so eloquently share your story -- with love, humor, humility, and great power -- was truly inspiring. -- employee, Bristol Myers Squibb

It's not very often that, in our ableist society, we are privileged to hear from those who are differently abled. But honestly, that's not the most important thing I took away from your presentation today, although I can't imagine how much courage and conviction it must take to speak in front of so many jaded, critical high schoolers. I was actually pleasantly surprised that they responded so enthusiastically to you! You have a true gift!

At the same time, your stories about your mother, father and grandmother really touched me and reminded me that while our dreams are important, nothing is more important than friends and family. Thank you for making the six-hour journey and for reminding me what's actually important in life. --
New York high school teacher

Photo courtesy of www.davidhasselhoffonline.comHey Paul, It's people like you who TRULY keep people like me going. Thanks for your letter, thanks for your courage, thanks for allowing me to use it in my book!

From my 1980's television show, Knight Rider, ONE MAN CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, AND YOU ARE THAT MAN! With respect and admiration, --
David Hasselhoff, actor and singer

As a teacher, I can only hope that at least once during the year I successfully touch their lives as you have touched theirs in just one hour. God blessed you and has blessed us with the opportunity to meet you. -- Mrs. MacKenzie, teacher

Outstanding motivational presentation! Paul was warm, sensitive to the childrens' questions, informative, inspirational, and displayed a wonderful sense of humor. My students are already comparing him to some of the 'heroic characters' they've read about in literature this year. -- elementary school teacher

I left that room with tears in my eyes and determination in my mind. After that day, whenever I doubt myself, I think of Paul. He overcame so many obstacles set before him, and yet he turned out to be a knowledgeable and inspirational person. I now tell myself: if Paul can do it, I can too. -- Lauren, 8th grader

Paul Wichansky inspiring studentsI now realize I can conquer my INNER disabilities and that I can now do things with such assurance. I have realized that to get to your dreams, you have to be able to trip and fall once in a while to learn from your mistakes. -- Christen, 6th grader

Inspirational! Paul heightens the awareness of all the effort involved in dealing with a handicap and reinforces, to children, that people with disabilities are just regular folks dealing with a weakness. His theme of reminding students that we all have strengths and handicaps is a good one! -- Sandra Goodman, teacher

Your friendly and open nature is simply magnetic, and it's easy to see how students, and people in general, are drawn to you. There are few people in this world who possess the God-given talent to single-handedly transform others' attitudes and perspectives in a positive way, and you, dear Paul, have undoubtedly been chosen to be one of them. -- Paula Little, Barnegat

Your experiences and words of wisdom truly touched me and all of my students. I do believe that there is a 'plan' for all of us, and your life story is evidence that nothing can and should get in the way of your dreams. Your courage is an inspiration to all who get to meet and learn from you. Thank you again! -- Emily Mauro, New York middle school teacher

Excerpt from a PTA newsletter:

"Our audience very quickly became affected by this amazing speaker. They responded appropriately to his sense of humor and appreciated some very simple life lessons he looked to instill upon everyone. Paul challenged us to rip the 'T' out of the word CAN'T. He focused so much attention on the importance of a smile and how contagious your smile and your positive personality can be. He helped the students and the adults to appreciate what it means to live with a disability and that anything is possible with a supportive network of family and friends and an inner determination.

Meeting Paul Wichansky was a very unique opportunity. I wish all of you could have had the same experience; since you weren't able to, let your childrens' recollections and reactions be the next best thing!" -- Michael Donovan, Vice-Principal, Ridgewood Avenue School, Glen Ridge, N.J.

There was this boy in the back row making fun of you. Well, after the assembly was over, I went to my principal and told him about that rude boy who was making comments. After school, I went to him and said, you know what, that man out there learned so much even though he has cerebral palsy, he learned how to walk, talk and even has a great job, and you couldn't do that for your life. -- Mina Akyol, 8th grader

Thanks again, Paul, for the wonderful presentation you gave our students. Throughout your lecture, I had a smile on my face and pride in my heart. What a wonderful life you are leading! My students returned to class with many wonderful questions and comments! You have "the gift" and your humor and experiences are truly an inspiration to all. To win over an 8th grade audience takes much patience and skill, and you have both! -- Randy Grauerholz, teacher

We loved your presentation! It made us smile, and even cry because you touched our hearts. Thanks so much for coming to our school. Someday many of us hope to go skydiving, too! You made us think positively and believe in ourselves more. It was really cool to see that you could really do anything if you try. Your artwork is amazing! That Porsche looked like a photograph, and not a painting! You told us to always follow our dreams. I never thought about the fact that every day is a part of the dream. Paul, you are our role model because you showed us how you can pursue your thoughts and dreams if you try! -- New York elementary school

Paul, you have worked really hard to create the life you've always wanted from a place where many people easily give up and end up feeling sorry for themselves (many people do this even without a disability!). You live as an example for others that there is so much more to life than most people even dare to dream of! So many people lose sight of their dreams and do what works in the moment, eventually settling for a life that eventually makes them unhappy. Your assemblies are a powerful counter-strike against that whole concept, and it's really inspiring to see that there are people out there looking (and succeeding!) to make a difference in our world! -- Michael Holak, teacher

You've got the best car ever ... and the best speeches ever ... and the best stories ever! End of story. Please come back to our school! -- Chloe, 8th grader

I just wanted to thank you for coming to my school today and giving your presentation. Not only did you give me a new outlook on life, but you also greatly inspired me to excel and to strive to do my best in all that I do. You showed me that life has it's obstacles, but with motivation and determination to succeed, anything is possible! I greatly respect you for proving the doctors wrong in learning to walk. You went even farther than that -- you went skydiving and scuba diving, and even got a cochlear implant! Thank you, Paul! You are my inspiration. -- Greg, 8th grader

"An eternal optimist to soften the barrier between 'normal' and 'disabled.' We can never be enlightened enough." -- Paula Jedzinak, teacher