HELENA — Kevin Atlas, a motivational speaker and the first basketball player with one hand to earn a Division 1 basketball scholarship, visited Helena High School, on Thursday morning, in his national "Believe in You" Tour.
Due to complications at birth Atlas was born with a left arm that ended just below the elbow.
As a young child, Atlas struggled in school and with self-confidence, until a middle school coach showed him that he believed in him.
From that moment on, Atlas dedicated himself to school, basketball, and helping others.
"It's interesting and fascinating to see the different issues and struggles that different schools have. That said, serving as a catalyst to make major change within the schools and really elevating them to find their voice. I mean, all their problems are solvable if the leaders stand up and find their voice," said Atlas.
Atlas shared his story and advice with the Helena High seniors and held a Q and A session for school leader groups. His overall message, be together.
"I spent quite a bit of time with these students and honestly, I hope they take away, if nothing else, you know, self-love and kindness and empathy. And if they can't be empathetic with each other, then the school is never going to feel like a family. It will never maximize its potential," said Atlas.
With rising pressures on today's youth, Atlas seeks to raise awareness for student mental health, as well as ways to access mental health through support resources so students around the country can find their voice.
"I think that there's a major issue with the American youth are finding that voice, and the problem is, is judgment. Judgment is putting each other down, and preventing each other from finding the courage to do what you know is right," said Atlas.
Atlas has spoken to countless amounts schools across 49 states. His next location on his tour will continue in Montana.