submitted by Larry Larrabee; photo by Mary Ellen O’Brien
The presenter at our December 11 meeting is the Director of Dane Counties District Attorney’s Office of Deferred Prosecution, Melvin Juette. He gave a very inspirational presentation starting with a brief history of his life from the time he was paralyzed by a gunshot wound at 16 on the south side of Chicago. As he says, “My life went from earning respect by intimidating others to earning it by hard work.”
Wheelchair basketball inspired him and carried him to two gold medals in the Para-Olympics before moving to Dane County. His story is about those who positively affected his life and helped him realize it’s ability that counts, not disability.
In 2008 he authored Wheelchair Warrior. Melvin says, “I can control how I react to adversity. Adversity is an opportunity for growth.” He and his wife have been foster parents to 82 children, seven of whom they have adopted. He uses his life experiences in his work with those who choose differed prosecution to help them realize that it’s not about blaming others but about using adversity to become a better person.
He used the story of his life to inspire us, and his life is truly inspirational. Melvin can be proud of his life, and we can be proud to have him as a part of our community where he serves others.
If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch the video here.