Local celebrity returns to give motivational speech at Fort Pierce school

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - A local man who overcame adversity to become a best-selling author and motivational speaker returned home Wednesday. 

Richie Contartesi's mission is to help others succeed like he did. He usually charges thousands for a speech, but Wednesday he spoke to people at Virginia College in Fort Pierce. 

"If I can find a way to show them the light I wanted to do that," Contartesi said. 

The students showed up looking for the tools to change their lives. 

"It takes time, it takes the the mental capacity for you to want to," Ralph Morrison Jr. said. 

In a few months Morrison is poised to graduate. The 33-year-old says getting to this point wasn't easy.

"I've dealt with homelessness," he said. 

For him Contartesi's speech was reminder that sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to turn your life around. 

"When dealing with difficult situations the best person to get you out of a situation is you," he said. 

"It just shows how powerful what it is that I'm saying and how real it can be for them," Contartesi said. 

Morrison said hearing Contartesi's story inspired him to keep moving forward. 

"If you look hard enough, if you are persistent, if you overcome fear, there's definitely a way to get what you have," he said. 

Morrison says after graduation he wants to pursue pharmacy school. His hope is to one day open a pharmacy in Fort Pierce.

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