RJ Mitte breaks barriers

Kerong Kelly and Margret Ekblom, News Editor and Contributing Writer

“Breaking Bad” co-star RJ Mitte questioned peoples’ willingness to step out of their comfort zones in a talk on March 24 in Rooke Chapel.

In his speech titled “Overcoming Adversity: Turning a Disadvantage into an Advantage,” Mitte connected his role on the Emmy Award-Winning series “Breaking Bad”’ with his personal experience with cerebral palsy.

Mitte described his start in the world of acting and stressed the importance of accepting disability as an opportunity rather than as a hindrance that prevents people from living to their highest potential. He then elaborated on the therapy process and the energy he expended in an effort to combat cerebral palsy.

Mitte is the Youth Spokesperson for the National Disability Institute’s Real Economic Impact Tour, which seeks to improve the financial situations of low-income persons with disabilities. In addition, Mitte became a Celebrity Youth Ambassador for United Cerebral Palsy in 2011.

Mitte’s talk was sponsored and arranged by the University’s Student Lectureship Committee, a group of 15 students who plan and promote lectures for students, faculty, staff, and the community.

“His message rings true: even though bullying is something of a problem that we are dealing with, it still goes on. Especially cyber bullying, something that has gotten out of hand on this campus in the past few weeks. The app called Yick Yak is being used to say slandering things about other students. One thing that I hope everyone took away from the lecture is that social media needs to not be used as a weapon as it is on this campus. Students should know it’s as easy as tracking down their IP addresses, and they can be tagged to the mean things they are saying about other students,” Walker Brady ’15 said.

Mitte played the son of Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston), a high school chemistry teacher dying of cancer who becomes involved in cooking meth to provide for his family.

“It was a true inspiration in the sense that you see someone who is committed to their dream. Being handicap is not an issue. For the most part, we are not disabled and we don’t try half as much as he does. It tells us something about how we should live,” Maxence Leconte, French teaching assistant, said.

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